|Editor||A. Ross, Learning for Democratic Europe|
Children live in and are members of society, and they learn from all of the society that they see around them. ICT (Information and Communication Technology) is a modern form of communication, and wireless communication is one part of this new media: it contributes to an open learning environment. ICT is a common part of young children's lives. This research is based on theories of contextualism (Bronfenbrenner 1997, Hujala etc. 1998) and the concept that the living environment affects child development, experience and learning. Communication and interpersonal contact theory suggests that communication between children and their culture is very important. In contemporary society, children very easily use many different forms of ICT; they use computers, telephones and emails in their daily lives. These media allow them to take more control of their own learning and to communicate efficiently with other people, sometimes on world-wide scale. However, young children who are not yet able to read and write need some help and support in using such equipment. Our pre-school group's research focussed on children's learning to use a mobile telephone to communicate with others. Children learn these sorts of activities in their everyday life and these new media are naturally contextualised into children's lives. Our ways of life are changing: parents, other adults and teachers need to notice that children are discovering new ways to communicate, and they need to understand that these 'new' methods are very natural for young children ? who find them rather easier to handle than do many adults. Teachers have to develop their teaching and learning methods to take account of this.