The Digital Play Framework Observation Handouts

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Jo Bird, a researcher in early childhood technology has created an observation tool for tracking children’s behaviors when using a variety of technology tools. These handouts are based on the Digital Play Framework (DPF), developed by Jo Bird and Dr. Suzy Edwards, a pedagogy in which children explore and demonstrate other behaviors when first introduced to technology through play. Tamara Kaldor, Associate Director, TEC Center is collaborating with Ms. Bird and Dr. Edwards to help early childhood practitioners implement the DPF in their classrooms and other early childhood learning environments.


The children begin learning to use technologies through epistemic play or play where they explore the functions of the device and learn how the device works. These behaviours include exploration, problem solving and skill acquisition. When learning to use an iPad, this includes random pressing, asking for assistance from others and beginning to recognise what images represent.

Jo Bird from her blog post for the TEC Center, The Digital Play Framework and Exploration of Technology Tools


Access Bird’s DPF Handouts below and as you use them, think about what other behaviors are missing from these checklists as you observe children learning to master a technology tool. The behaviors listed are suggestions of what to look for but not a definitive list that all children must meet:

Digital Play Framework Handout – General

Digital Play Framework- iPad Observation

Digital Play Framework Handout – Camera

Digital Play Framework Handout – Computers



Jo Bird is a lecturer in the School of Education at the University of New England, Armidale Australia. She is completing her PhD through Australian Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia. Her research explores children’s use of technologies in their imaginative play and the educators’ provision of these devices. Jo was an educator in early childhood settings for over 15 years prior to becoming a teacher educator. Her research interests include children’s play and learning, early childhood leadership and the use of technologies in early childhood education.