Professor Elizabeth Ann WoodThe School of Education are delighted to host a research seminar with Professor Elizabeth Ann Wood from University of Sheffield.

The seminar is taking place on Thursday 16th November.

Venue: TRiSS Seminar Room, 6th Floor Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin.

Time: 5.00 - 6.00pm


In recent years we have witnessed the rapid transition from what has become known as ‘traditional’ play, to new forms of digital play. The terms ‘blended’ or converged’ play capture the ways in which young children’s play encompasses the digital and the traditional, the material and the virtual, including different technologies, digital media, and popular culture.

Whilst there are many ongoing debates about digital play, recent research shows the potential of digital play for extending children’s learning, their agency and capabilities. For children with special or additional needs, digital technologies have brought significant changes beyond the ‘assistive’ to enabling multimodal and multisensory engagement and playful participation in many different kinds of activities. Research conducted during and after the Covid-19 pandemic showed clearly the many creative uses people made of digital technologies for communicating, collaborating, playing, crafting, tinkering, making and learning.

Nor has digital play put an end to outdoor play. Research indicates that the mobility and flexibility of digital technologies extends their use into different environments and can enrich children’s learning across all curriculum areas. Digital technologies can develop children’s creativity and inventiveness, and extend their repertoires of practice across home and ECE settings.

Concerns do remain about safety and appropriate use of technologies and media. However, in this seminar we will look at the different ways educators can integrate digital technologies into their provision and pedagogical practice, and how digital technologies can be used across the curriculum. We will look at how digital play aligns with the principles of Aistear and Siolta.

Professor Elizabeth Ann Wood's research focuses mainly on early childhood and primary education, with specific interests in play and pedagogy; curriculum and assessment in ECE; teachers’ professionalism and professional knowledge; policy analysis and critique.

Her work on play has international reach and influence, and is a Visiting Professor at the University of Auckland, and Australian Catholic University Melbourne.

With her colleagues in Australian Catholic University and Monash University, she is currently researching the ways in which children are blending digital and traditional play, and the implications for curriculum and pedagogy.

Professor Wood is a co-Investigator (with Dr Liz Chesworth, Principal Investigator, and Dr Sharon Curtis) on a project funded by the Froebel Trust on understanding the relationships between children’s interests, play and pedagogy in a multi-diverse early childhood setting. Another project, also with colleagues in Australian Catholic University and Monash University, focuses on how early childhood practitioners develop leadership of practice.

Professor Wood has worked with a range of European organisations and has provided policy and practice guidance to governments (England, Switzerland, Ireland) on play, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Her work has influenced the development of Aistear, the early childhood framework in Ireland, and has worked with the National Union of Teachers on developing guidance for play.

All are welcome. For further information, please email