A cautionary tale: digital resources in literacy classrooms
Supportive digital resources are key to supporting educators' pedagogic practices in teaching children to be literate. But locating suitable resources can be confusing, with as claims about products being educational, aligned with curriculum outcomes, and even as 'silver bullets'. In Australia, a lack of specificity in national and state curriculum guidelines about resource selection creates inconsistencies within and across schools. We investigate how teacher-selected digital resources are used in early childhood classrooms to support literacy learning. Drawing on three independent Australian classroom-based studies, we share three examples of children engaging with digital resources. Together, they show that not all digital resources promote active and engaged literacy learning in meaningful and socially interactive contexts. We propose principles for selecting digital resources to promote playful, scaffolded, and exploratory literacy learning.