Dr Fiona Scott
School of Education
Lecturer in Digital Literacies
Director, Literacies and Language Research Cluster
+44 114 222 8159
Full contact details
School of Education
Edgar Allen House
241 Glossop Rd
Fiona is a Lecturer in Digital Literacies in The School of Education at The University of Sheffield, where she is Director of the Literacies and Language Research Cluster. She specialises in research and teaching focused on the digital lives of children. Fiona’s research focuses on children's engagements with digital technologies and digital texts, particularly in the context of families and communities. She has collaborated with a range of external partners in research, including LEGO and CBeebies. She is an Editor of the Journal of Early Childhood Literacy. She also frequently shares expertise through invited media appearances, including national and regional television and radio (BBC News Channel, BBC Radio 5 Live) and articles aimed at public engagement, such as her recent piece in The Conversation.
- Research interests
Fiona’s research is located in the field of digital literacies. She is concerned with child and family practices in relation to the digital and, in particular, the role played by social class. Fiona is also interested in research methods and methodologies, including the tensions associated with researching children’s lives in more-than-human contexts. Fiona’s PhD thesis, produced in collaboration with CBeebies, examined preschool children’s engagements with television and related media at home.
As a PI in the Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children project, Fiona is currently leading ecoculturally-informed case study research in four countries in collaboration with UNICEF Innocenti and The LEGO Group. This research aims to investigate the relationship between children’s digital play and their subjective well-being.
Prior to beginning an academic career, Fiona worked as a Research Consultant, working on research projects for clients in the Further Education and Arts and Cultural Sectors (including the Learning and Skills Council and Arts Council).
Some of Fiona’s current and recent academic research projects include:
Responsible Innovation in Technology for Children (in partnership with UNICEF Innocenti and The LEGO Group, funded by The LEGO Foundation).
Becoming a New Parent During the Pandemic (in partnership with the National Childbirth Trust, with Emma Blakey, TUoS and Michelle McGillion, University of Warwick)
Floss and Em: Embedding Playfulness in Animation (Research England funded, with Fettle Animation)
XR StoryBox: Multimedia storytelling using mixed reality technology, in a box (AHRC funded, with XR Games)
Children, Technology and Play (with The LEGO Foundation)
Young Children’s engagement and learning with the AR coding app “Little Red” (with Twinkl Educational Publishing)
Sounds of Childhood: Exploring young children’s sound perceptions to inform architecture and urban design (IIKE scheme funded project at TUoS)
Exploring Play and Creativity in Pre-Schoolers’ Use of Apps (TUoS with CBeebies, Foundling Bird, Dubit and Monteney Primary School)
Beyond Disorders (Interdisciplinary Research Futures funded project at TUoS)
Energy Innovation in Deprived Communities (ERDF funded project at TUoS)
Public Attitudes to Carbon Capture and Storage in United States and Canada (EPRI funded project at TUoS)
- Under threes’ play with tablets. Journal of Early Childhood Research. View this article in WRRO
- View this article in WRRO Guest editorial: Young children’s engagements with digital media. Media Education Research Journal, 8(2), 5-9.
- View this article in WRRO ‘Knock, knock, it’s Freddy!’: harnessing young children’s digital and media skills and interests to foster creativity and digital literacy in makerspaces. Media Education Research Journal, 8(2), 95-104.
- Play and creativity in young children's use of apps. British Journal of Educational Technology, 49(5), 870-882. View this article in WRRO
- Vibrations in Place: Sound and Language in Early Childhood Literacy Practices. Educational Studies, 54(4), 465-482.
- Digital play: a new classification. Early Years, 36(3), 242-253. View this article in WRRO
- What do people living in deprived communities in the UK think about household energy efficiency interventions?. Energy Policy, 66, 335-349. View this article in WRRO
- Researching digital inequalities in children’s play with technology in South Africa. Learning, Media and Technology, 1-14.
- Natalia Kucirkova, Digital personalization in early childhood: Impact on childhood. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 146879841989573-146879841989573.
- Family mediation of preschool children’s digital media practices at home. Learning, Media and Technology, 1-16.
- Young Children’s Playful Engagement and Learning with a Fairy-Tale Themed Augmented Reality Coding App, Children’s Creative Inquiry in STEM (pp. 327-345). Springer International Publishing
- Attending to Our Response-abilities: Diff/Reading Data Through Pedagogies of the Other-wise, Unsettling Literacies (pp. 67-81). Springer Singapore
- Digital play: a new classification, Digital Play and Technologies in the Early Years (pp. 20-31). Routledge
- Vibrations in Place, Sonic Studies in Educational Foundations (pp. 129-147). Routledge
- Researching children’s play and identity in the digital age, The Routledge Handbook of Digital Literacies in Early Childhood (pp. 442-452). Routledge
- Adults Researching Pre-Schoolers in More-Than-Human Contexts, Educational Research in the Age of Anthropocene (pp. 110-143). IGI Global
- Troublesome binaries: Play and learning on screen and off In Smith P & Roopnarine J (Ed.), The Cambridge Handbook of Play Developmental and Disciplinary Perspectives (pp. 240-257). Cambridge University Press
- Digital Literacies in Early Childhood Oxford University Press
- View this article in WRRO Promoting the Green Deal to low income communities: Initial insights from Yorkshire & The Humber
- Teaching activities
Fiona teaches across the BA Education, Culture and Childhood, MA Education, MA Early Childhood Education (Distance) and MA Digital Literacies, Culture and Education taught programmes in the School of Education.
Fiona worked alongside Dr. Becky Parry to write the department’s MA course focused on Digital Literacies, Culture and Education, which commenced in 2020.
Fiona has previously taught on a broad range of courses relating to Digital Literacies, Early Childhood and Research Methods, including as a Lecturer in Early Childhood at Sheffield Hallam University.
Fiona’s current and recent PhD and EdD students research topics including: early years educators perspectives on digital technology use in the classroom; children’s use of YouTube; the role of digital technologies in early childhood settings in China; literacy playshops; and primary school teachers’ digital literacies teaching. Fiona is particularly interested in hearing from prospective doctoral students who would like to research the digital lives of children (0-8). An indicative (but not exhaustive) list of relevant topics might include: children’s uses of digital technologies and/ or engagement with media texts at home; the experiences and perspectives of children and their families in relation to digital technologies; parent and carer or family mediation of children’s digital practices; the experiences and attitudes of early years practitioners in relation to digital technologies; the use of digital technologies in early childhood settings or across home-school boundaries; the digital literacy practices of children and their families; the design of particular digital technologies for children; children’s digital play; diversity and difference in children’s digital practices (geographic, socioeconomic, gender-based).