Technology that Supports Early Learning –Three Examples
Digital storytelling for dual language learners; deep diving on a virtual Titanic; and more innovative uses of technology for early learning.
Computers, tablets, smartphones, apps, and other digital tools are part of our everyday lives. When used appropriately, technology can help children explore their world, express and make sense of what they know, and interact with other children. Technology tools can also assist families as they support their children’s at-home learning.
So, how can early childhood educators choose appropriate technology tools to enhance and support children’s learning?
NAEYC and the Fred Rogers Center created the position statement, Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8 as a guide for early childhood educators as they make decisions about how and when to incorporate technology into their programs.
In a recent NAEYC survey, educators were asked about their use of the technology position statement. Respondents describe referring to the joint position statement as they plan university courses, develop curriculum, explain developmentally appropriate uses of technology to other teachers, administration, and families, and make decisions about when to incorporate technology into their own classrooms.
Teachers also asked for more examples of developmentally appropriate uses of technology in early childhood settings. Following are three examples of educators integrating technology into their work with young children in ways that are developmentally appropriate. We hope you will share the technology position statement and these examples with colleagues.
Three examples of technology that supports early learning:
Digital Story Helps Dual Language Learner Connect with Classmates
A 4-year old boy, who speaks only Chinese, uses an iPad to write a digital story that allows him to share details about his home life with other children in his preschool classroom.
Virtual Tour of the Titanic Helps a Kindergartner Make Social Connections
A 5-year-old child fascinated with the Titanic is given a book and interactive CD-ROM with a large screen desktop computer. The transmedia materials allow him to explore and express his interests, and develop his small motor and social skills.
Supporting Family Involvement and Readiness for Migrant Children
Parent educators in Maine integrate iPads into a curriculum that provides parents of migrant preschoolers with early literacy and math activities to help their children get ready for school.
Susan Friedman is Senior Director, Publishing and Professional Learning at NAEYC.