Innovation approaches to early learning: Technology and ECE

Children today have a major advantage in the classroom compared to early learning experiences 15 years ago.  Technology is not going away so it is pertinent that early childhood educators stay abreast of the advances in technology and how to incorporate it into the classroom.  Technology for young children must be interactive vs passive allowing children to engage in the technology.  Passive media can contribute to "language delays, obesity, social withdrawal, attention problems, and even irregular sleep patterns" (Epstein, 2013, pg. 2).  There are several technological devices that can be utilized in the classroom including computers, tablets, digital cameras and digital microscopes to name a few.  I love technology and enjoy trying out all the new "toys" so I naturally want to bring what I've learned into the classroom. A few weeks ago I researched this topic with a focus on the negative effects of children under age two but again felt it was appropriate for older children.  In researching what other teachers have done to incorporate technology in the classroom I am inspired to try out new things in the classes at my facility.  As a technology teacher one I learned very quickly that young children enjoy computers but they do require that back and forth of the interactivity.  They do not want to passively sit and watch as it is too much like watching a movie which will cause them to lose interest and get antsy.  For me, putting a digital microscope in the classroom is a great learning tool or teaching a child to use a desktop computer and mice versus just a tablet.  Some items can be quite expensive but I have found if you ask around, people are willing to donate items to educational programs. My thoughts on effective learning experiences for young children in a technology rich environment is that we are aiding and extending the child's learning.  I also understand the opposite view of wanting to keep anything other than a desktop computer out of the classroom because children are exposed to technology with their families.  The difference, in my opinion, is that as educators we are presenting an alternative use for technology not just as a babysitter. 

Epstein, A. S. (2013). Using Technology Appropriately in the Preschool Classroom. Highscope Extensions , 28(1). Retrieved from http://www.highscope.org/file/NewsandInformation/Extensions/ExtVol28No1_low.pdf

1 comment:

  1. Hey there, Theresa. I agree that technology can be a ‘babysitter’ and I would like to add that If technology is employed throughout meaningful, contextualized experiences, students and teachers are more apt to embrace, model, use, and incorporate technology into their own instructional planning and purpose. To enhance learning with technology, If properly used, devices will help students and staffs acquire the skills they need to survive in a complex, highly technological knowledge-based economy…Jay