Continuing our series of blog posts focused on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). We’ve covered Science and Math, but not Engineering or Technology. This blog post will focus on promoting technological literacy in early childhood education.
Technology has become our society’s lifeblood. We rely on it everyday to accomplish our daily duties. Technology helps us get to and from work, complete our daily duties, communicate with loved ones, cook our food, and so much more. We need technology, and we will only become increasingly more attached to technology with time. We as educators need to ensure that children in our care become acquainted with different forms of technology so they have a better chance of being technologically literate as adults.
What forms of technology are suitable for early childhood education?
The form of technology utilized in early childhood education classrooms will vary by age, situation, and the individual. Not all children will respond well to every form of technology. They might find some forms easier to use, more interesting, etc. Usage of some forms of technology are not realistic for certain ages (example: a computer for an infant). Below are a few examples of technology that can be utilized in classrooms.
- Listening devices
- Recording devices
- Interactive Media
- Applications (apps)
How does technology assist in child development? All information was sourced from the NAEYC.
- “Classroom technologies can encourage engagement, active learning, creativity, and social interaction
- Encourages children to explore freely
- Technology can increase feelings of success in children after they complete interactive media experiences.
- It enhances their ability to be creative
- Enhances communication by providing yet another outlet for children to express themselves
- Technology allows children with special needs or developmental delays to complete daily activities. In addition, technology can be designed to address developmental delays.
Is there such thing as too much technology in early childhood education?
Yes there is, and we have to ensure that like everything done in an early childhood education environment, that we are utilizing technology in-so-far as it helps children develop. TechNewsDaily reports that attention span can be negatively affected by an overemphasis on the usage of technology, and also that technology over usage by children can lead to the tech addiction we see so often in teens and adults today. Kids are likely to become over-reliant on technology due to the convenience facts it offers.
Teachers should also remember that children learn from what they see their role models do. If as an educator you are constantly attached to technology, children will want to mimic this. If they go home and see their parents absorbed into their technological devices, they will think it’s normal and healthy to be that attached to technology.
What is the perfect blend of technology in the classroom?
The perfect balance of technology usage in the classroom will vary by setting, age, and child. There is no blanket amount of time that technology usage is effective, nor should we be looking for one. Instead, we should think deeply about how we can utilize technology to promote experimental learning experiences, active play, to promote teamwork and cooperation, in enacting a curriculum rich in developmentally appropriate activities and lessons.
Where can you learn more about technology in the classroom?
- Using Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom (Scholastic)
- The Role of Technology in Early Childhood Education (Early Childhood NEWS)
- Meaningful Technology Integration in Early Learning Environments (NAEYC)
- Using Technology as a Social Tool in Preschool: Matching Philosophy With Application (NAEYC)
- How to Find Educational Apps (NAEYC)