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Monday, January 31, 2011

Technology and Early Childhood Education

I was asked earlier in the semester by one of my Educational Technology students how learning about technology applied to toddlers and really young children. I provide a picture of me nephew--age 3--as case in point. Truitt has been exposed to the computer and the Internet essentially from birth. It is a part of is daily life.

As technology becomes easier to use, educational software online educational programs will proliferate. Therefore, it is the responsibility of early childhood educators and parents as well to critically examine the impact of technology on children and be prepared to use technology to benefit children. Research has shown that used appropriately, technology can enhance children's cognitive and social abilities. As educators, we must be prepared to integrate technology into our teaching practices, providing equitable access by all children. We must be aware of research-based practices that will support children's learning. For example, research has shown that when working on a computer, young children prefer working with one or two partners over working alone. They seek help from each other and seem to prefer seeking help from their peers over seeking help from the teacher. They engage in different forms and levels of communication and interaction when using the computer as opposed to traditional activities such as blocks and puzzles. They display greater cooperation and turn-taking at the computer. Beyond the primary grades, the computer extends the classroom environment beyond the four walls of the school. Children have the opportunity to collaborate with children in other classrooms, cities, states, and even countries. They may even have a chance to converse with a favorite author.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is currently revising its position statement on Technology and Young Children--Ages 3 through 8; however, here is the link to the current statement.

1 comment:

  1. This is very enlightening. It would really be interesting to see some of these programs for toddlers. So technology can be incorporated in their learning along with blocks and puzzles to help them to be well rounded right?

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