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Chapter 11 - Videogames, Apps and Education in the Field of Pre-Primary and Primary Education


Users of new media are getting younger since the breakthrough of mobile phones and tablets. In Australia, nearly all children at the age of five regularly access the internet (Swist, Collin, McCormack, & Third, 2015). However there is a difference on what children are using depending on their age. There are many games and apps existing which target children at pre-primary age. As using new media is quite common in our daily lives there is an eligibility of letting young children play with apps in order to get acquainted with new media and they also could learn useful tasks with new media.


Tell me and I forget,

Show me and I remember,

Involve me and I understand

Ancient Chinese proverb

Confucius (551 – 479 BC)

Children start learning from the first day through playing. By playing they can exercise important functions, they can go beyond the constraints of reality, they can train social behaviour, and they can get in touch with their peers to gain social approval. It seems obvious that (educational) games should be used to provide them with knowledge and experiences for their future lives.

Nowadays children at the age of 6 use smartphones or other digital devices daily. In many cases they have their own devices and have higher practical competences in using them than their parents. They use these devices for games, taking and sending photos, watching you-tube Videos, searching on Google™ (Zartler, Kolger & Zuccato, 2018). Minecraft and Clash Royal are amongst the most played games for children between the ages of 6 to 10 [1]

But dealing with games and gaming devices, such as consoles, computers and smartphones also evokes fears and worries in parents, teachers, and other supervisors. At what age should children have their own device? How long should they be allowed to use it? What about the safety of the devices and the apps? Which contents are suitable for my child? All of these are questions which will eventually arise.

The Theoretical Framework


In this chapter we had a look on the pedagogical background of children at the pre-primary and primary age by looking first at the ISCD levels 0 and 1 before immerging deeper into the pedagogy of pre-primary and primary age. As the learning of small children needs many individual experiences and a safe and secure environment the supervision of an adult to provide learning experiences and to provide the possibility to interact is essential. As children need their individual approach the adult should not interfere too much. At primary age the learning environment should not only foster the acquirement of basic skills like mathematics, reading and writing but also the development of basic values and competences. In all stages the individual strengths should be promoted.

In the next section we looked at the current situation of using media and games at pre-primary and primary age. We found that using media devices for accessing the internet or especially for playing games is quite common nowadays. The use already starts at pre-primary age but media education often starts not before the age of 8 at school. Nowadays not only computers are used but also smartphones, tablets, TVs and game consoles. Smartphones and tablets are the most used devices when playing digital games. Playing games is the most reason for using digital devices in the group of pre-primary and primary age.

Bibliographical references

Practical Activities

Case Scenarios

Assessment Activity

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

The V4T - Videogames 4 Teachers project © 2018