In one simple activity a child care provider can accomplish goals related to technology use, language development, and social skills. For many the debate over whether to use, or not to use technology as a way of teaching, puts some educators on edge. Here are a few ideas that may give some insight on technology and how it can be used in early childhood programs.
Let’s say the educator gives each child a tablet and lets he/she take pictures of objects around them. Later, the child gets a chance to show everyone in the class what they took pictures of and explain why they chose that object. The educator can facilitate further discussion with the children about the pictures and encourage them to ask each other questions. This activity promotes communication skills, such as the child’s ability to recall events and answer a variety of why questions. Letting the children choose what they want to take pictures of increases motivation and makes it meaningful. It gives them confidence when sharing in front of a large group.
When used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media can be effective tools to support learning and development. All intentional use requires early childhood educators to have information on the different kinds of devices that are available and appropriate for the age group of children they work with. In a new report by the Fred Rogers Center and the Technology in Early Childhood Center at Erikson Institute is states, “the majority of Children’s use of technology or media includes imagining, playing, wondering, creating, and reflecting. This bolsters the idea that technology and media-when used appropriately-can improve children’s readiness for school and enhance their social and emotional development.”
Author: Kelly McNeal Recruitment/Retention/Referral Specialist