Society & Culture & Entertainment Education

Technology for Young Children

At one child development center where I used to work, there were computers in all of the preschool rooms. The infant and toddler rooms had computer keyboards, binoculars, and magnifying glasses. Some of the potential barriers to implementing technology in this situation included the lack of clear technology plans, lack of staff training, and a lack of technological resources. Among the technology that still needed to be introduced included more interactive games and toys and talking word-processors where children may type letters of the alphabet and listen to the computer read them aloud. LeapFrog books, games, and toys and products such as V.Smile also needed to be introduced. In addition, more internet websites should be utilized, including Kindersite, which is one of many developmentally appropriate websites for young children.

In order for this technology to be introduced effectively, the physical arrangement of the preschool rooms should allow for two children to sit side by side so that this encourages positive social interaction and learning. Computers should also be located in the center of the room rather than in the corner of the room so that children notice them more and so that they are easily accessible. This arrangement also helps encourage more teacher participation. In the infant and toddler rooms, the technology should be in a central place where teachers have easy access to it and can incorporate it into the curriculum as much as possible. The technology should be incorporated into the curriculum so that the children are able to make better connections among the subjects they are learning about.

The technology procedures that should be changed to address the barriers of clear technology plans, staff training, and lack of technological resources include getting everyone involved in helping to create the technology plans by developing goals, identifying what will need to be done to meet those goals, and who will be responsible for each task, what resources will be needed, and setting deadline dates. The technology that needs to be introduced must be identified and discussed among stakeholders, and when funding is available, the technology should be ordered. More training is also necessary to help prepare teachers to assist children with the technology. This means providing ongoing training, not just one-time workshops and seminars. Parents should also be involved in the training so that they learn the benefits of including it in the curriculum and encouraging it at home. By including everyone in the process, this will create more buy-in and awareness of how to use the technology, which will make it possible for it to be implemented in a manner that is developmentally appropriate and supports learning.

Presentations, ideas for small group activities, learning assessments, self-evaluations, and other useful tools are available to assist with providing early childhood education classes at www.trainingandcurriculum.com

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