Let’s Talk…Technology in ECE Programs
So, if you are reading this blog, then you are connected to technology. Recently, NAEYC called for recommendations to their position statement on technology in early childhood programs serving children ages 3 to 8. They are working in partnership with the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media. The final statement is anticipated this fall.
I am fascinated with technology (partly because I have a spouse who is a technology coordinator for a school district and is constantly bringing home cool “toys” for me to explore and dream about their possible uses in early childhood programs). In this recent article published in the Chicago Tribune titled Finger paints, picture books and iPads — the newest classroom tools for some preschools, kindergartens, early childhood teacher Brian Puerling shares how he uses iPads about twice a week in his preschool classroom. To me, using an iPad several times a week to introduce technology to young children is a nice balance. It enhances the curriculum, without replacing the hands-on learning and social interaction we hold as so important. And isn’t balance something we as early childhood professionals are constantly striving for? We would never advocate a classroom with only books or only manipulatives. Yet, when we as skilled teachers set up the classroom, we seek to reach all areas of development in a way that will peak interest and learning opportunities. And through observation, we make decisions based upon our unique group of children such as when to rotate materials, when to add to materials, and when to redirect or expand upon children’s use of materials.
However, there are those that feel strongly that there is too much screen time already for young children and early childhood classrooms should hold off on their introduction of technology to young children such as the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood. I am interested in hearing from you –
· What are your thoughts on technology in the early childhood classroom?
· Is the use of computers by young children different than other technology uses without “screens” such as headphones or CD players or cameras?
· How are you integrating technology into your classroom? How are you making sure you are providing the necessary balance without being disruptive to engaged learning? I know how annoyed I get when I am right in the middle of a creative project where the juices are flowing and the phone rings. I imagine young children feel the same when we set a ticking timer beside the computer to “ding” when their screen time is up!
We look forward to reading as you give your thoughts a voice!