From foot to pencil, from pencil to finger: Children as digital wayfarers

Dardanou, M.
Global Studies of Childhood, 9(4):348-359.


The purpose of the study is to investigate how young children experience museum visits where they are allowed to use digital touch screens to document their visit, and how they later make sense of their experiences when creating their own digital stories from the museum experience. The research question is: How do digital touch screens contribute to children’s communication in and with the museum and with each other? The study provides insight into children’s creative sensemaking from their own perspective by investigating how they develop their own digital stories based on museum visits. It investigates the children’s physical and digital journey through the museum and how they later visualise this journey through their own drawings and development of digital stories.


The findings of the study show that the children’s physical journey through the museum, which was visualised through the children’s own drawings and pictures, became a digital journey back in time and place when the children made their own digital story of the visit: The children became digital travellers. The researcher argues that this way of experiencing museum exhibitions creates new opportunities for the children to return to their visit and the experiences they had there.

According to the study, children’s visual and digital journeys create new interactions and relationships between children and museums. In this way, museum visits can facilitate new expressions in the children and a closer relationship and communication between the children and the local community.


Through participatory observation, the researcher followed twelve kindergarten children, aged four to five years old, on seven visits to museums in the local community. During the visits, the children had the opportunity to photograph and draw, as well as create mind maps and digital stories when they returned to kindergarten. The researcher collected the photographs the children took and the pictures they drew. In addition, she made audio and video recordings of the children. She also received copies of the digital story the children made together with the kindergarten teacher, and information about how it was created. The data material was analysed thematically and divided into four categories: 1) The children’s first meeting with the museum exhibitions, 2) The drawings the children made while in the museum, 3) The children’s use of mobile cameras during the museum trip, and 4) The children’s digital story.


Dardanou, M. (2019). "From foot to pencil, from pencil to finger: Children as digital wayfarers". Global Studies of Childhood, 9(4):348-359.

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