University of Oulu

Chuanmei Dong & Pekka Mertala (2021) It is a tool, but not a ‘must’: early childhood preservice teachers’ perceptions of ICT and its affordances, Early Years, 41:5, 540-555, DOI: 10.1080/09575146.2019.1627293

It is a tool, but not a ‘must’ : early childhood preservice teachers’ perceptions of ICT and its affordances

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Author: Dong, Chuanmei1,2; Mertala, Pekka3
Organizations: 1School of Education, University of New England, Armidale, Australia
2Department of Educational Studies, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
3Faculty of Education, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2021
Publish Date: 2020-12-05


With the ever-diversifying digital landscape of the 21st century, terms such as ‘information and communication technologies’ (ICT), ‘digital media’ and ‘technologies’ are often used to refer to a broad set of digital devices and applications. However, the use of these umbrella-concepts in educational contexts has caused issues when used in conjunction with concepts such as affordances and integration. In this paper, eight Chinese preservice early childhood teachers’ perceptions of ICT and its affordances are explored through online interviews. The participants conceptualised ‘ICT’ as screen-based technologies such as interactive whiteboards and computers. These technologies were perceived to afford efficiency and assistance, particularly for teacher-centred practice, but to constrain children’s tactile and direct hands-on experience. The results highlight the importance of sociocultural contexts (e.g. practicum places and educational traditions) in shaping preservice teachers’ perceptions of technology and technology use. Implications for future technology integration research and teacher education are discussed.

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Series: Early years
ISSN: 0957-5146
ISSN-E: 1472-4421
ISSN-L: 0957-5146
Volume: 41
Issue: 5
Pages: 540 - 555
DOI: 10.1080/09575146.2019.1627293
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 516 Educational sciences
Copyright information: Copyright © 2018 Informa UK Limited. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Early Years on 05 June 2019, available online: