In this paper, I describe ongoing research exploring ways in which young teachers’ digital lives unfold inside and outside classrooms. I first interviewed teachers in 2006, and identified three different routes into digital worlds: serious solitary self-taught, serious solitary school-taught and playful social. A number of teachers agreed to be interviewed again in 2010. I outline ways in which I compare and contrast interviews over time, using analytic markers developed in ‘Inventing Adulthoods’, a Qualitative Longitudinal Research project. I also describe ways in which I set my analysis in Adam's concepts of time: ‘biographical time, generational time and historical time’. Case studies are outlined of three teachers, one serious solitary and two playful social. All three were language coordinators in 2006, and already experienced, innovative teachers of literacy. I argue that in 2010, the serious solitary teacher is able to bring new competences to the classroom, but fitting existing ways of teaching. In contrast, the playful social teachers bring new ways of knowing about digital worlds into classrooms, but these new ways are realised only if competences are recognised, communities are supportive and traditional ways of knowing about teaching and the curriculum do not block new ways of thinking.