“Talk into my GoPro, I’m making a movie!”

Using digital ethnographic methods to explore children’s sociomaterial experiences in the woods

Authored by: Debra Harwood , Diane R. Collier

The Routledge International Handbook of Learning with Technology in Early Childhood

Print publication date:  February  2019
Online publication date:  February  2019

Print ISBN: 9781138308169
eBook ISBN: 9781315143040
Adobe ISBN:


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In a two-year study of preschoolers’ experiences in a nature-based program in Canada (Forest School), we employed the use of GoPro cameras worn by the children to help explore the ‘lived realities’ and experiences that unfolded within the forest. As researchers we wanted to be ‘beside’ children and fully explore the forest from their point of view. The ‘agentic child’ was visualized through this lens both figuratively and literally, adding new insights into the research queries and children’s sociomaterial entanglements (Lenz Taguchi, 2010). As researchers and scholars we can help “disrupt the anthro-, socio-, and logocentric readings” of data by embracing methods that utilize 21st Century digital technologies, and revisiting the storied understandings of child-matter social, material, and discursive encounters.

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