Connected learning with media tools in kindergarten: an illustrative case

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Research units

  • University of Eastern Finland
  • Media Lab


Connected learning is claimed to support children to connect their formal learning with wider social network and media tools in an interest-driven and inquiry-oriented manner. In a formal context there are few successful implementations of connected learning. This study explores how a kindergarten community of 8 adults and 42 children, equipped with digital media tools, organized connected learning as sociocultural phenomena and inquiry learning. With an ethnographic approach, unstructured interviews and multimedia portfolios provided data for deductive content analysis. The results indicate that meaningful objects of inquiry were found though the children’s own discoveries with media tools used in forest trips. The social capital and the children’s own funds of knowledge were harnessed with iPads and a trail camera, installed to capture wildlife. Precisely, the trail camera use and the resulting images mediated connections with parents and grandparents, outside experts, and peers. Children were actively naming, classifying, and categorizing the trail camera data, and also searching, evaluating, and applying new information. Children were also creating, sharing, and openly publishing their own insights that drew on a unique mix of meaning-making resources and media tools. The results can be used in the learning design of early-childhood education and care.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-249
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Sep 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

    Research areas

  • connected learning, inquiry learning, media tool, participatory culture, Sociocultural theory

ID: 38638503