When it comes to the part of Technology in the early childhood education years, it can be a bit of a controversial topic. While some people may think that young children don’t need Technology, it can play a positive role in a child’s learning and development. Plus, in today’s technology-heavy world, learning how to use it is a necessary life skill. It’s not only the students who benefit from the use of Technology, though. It also provides early childhood educators with unlimited access to newer, more innovative teaching methods to facilitate an active learning environment for their young students.
Today’s preschoolers are “digital natives.” They grew up with and with technology to the extent that they knew it from an early age. Give a little kid a smartphone, and in no time, you’ll be navigating to your app or video and calling your last contact. It’s also not uncommon for children to teach the adults in their life how to use the latest technological wizardry.
However, parents’ common concern is: ” My child receives too much media exposure at home. Why would I want it at school? “While this can be the case when technology is used in specific and targeted ways, it can support and achieve early childhood and preschool learning goals abilities more opportunities to participate, communicate, and explore.
Supports Social and Emotional Development
Using touchscreen devices are the easiest for preschool-age children, as their fine motor skills are still developing. When touchscreen devices are used correctly, they can encourage children to work together and improve their social skills by taking turns and sharing ideas as they complete online activities side by side and view educational content.
Encourages Students to Follow Multi-Step Directions
It’s not always an easy task to teach young children to listen and recall when it comes to following directions, but using digital devices in the classroom, such as tablets, computers, and smartboards, all require children to follow multi-step directions. Examples of this are turning the device on, swiping to left or right, and selecting items on a screen.
Helps Teach Basic Academic Skills
One of the main uses for Technology in the classroom is teaching and reinforcing core academic skills. One simple learning activity designed for a tablet or computer can help children learn counting, numbers, letters, colors, sounds, matching shapes, etc. Activities can be improved to fit the student’s individual needs much more comfortable than traditional printed worksheets and packets. For example, students who breeze through an online activity could be switched to a more advanced level. In contrast, students struggling to answer questions correctly can review the material they answered incorrectly or be forwarded to another activity that’s more on their level.
How to Use Digital Technologies to Improve your Child’s Reading, Writing, and Mathematical skills.
Educational research has revealed that Thinking Skills such as Planning, Working Memory, Time Management, and Organization are crucial to academic success.
Reading skills are a core factor of success in today’s world. However, reading is not a natural activity. If it was, children would automatically acquire this skill just as they do spoken language. Instead, reading must be trained, practiced, and applied.
Writing is a complex skill that needs the capacity to express one’s thoughts and ideas in some type of written form. Effective writing needs many language-based and thinking skills.
Mathematical skills are crucial in today’s technological society. To be successful, children need to comprehend much more than humble mathematic computations. They must learn to put on their mathematical knowledge to the demands of a complex world.
Makes Learning an Enjoyable Process
Not all students logically love school and learning, but many students do enjoy using Technology. This is somewhat that early childhood educators can use to their advantage when it comes to getting all children to enjoy the learning process. Technology offers lots of fun and advanced activities that appeal to children of all ages.
Preschool and early learning are all about discovery, exploration, and imaginative play. Interactive classrooms bring the ends of the world – the galaxy indeed – to life with crisp sounds, colorful images and real-time video. For example, they can go on a “jungle safari” during break and continue in high definition in the classroom by visiting live webcam websites. Screen media can show children animals, objects, people, landscapes, activities, and places that they cannot personally experience. Kids can improve more control over their learning and expand their own horizons rather than depending on the teacher to do so from a laptop connected to a projector.
How to Use Technology to your Benefit as an Early Childhood Educator:
- Early childhood educators can purposefully use Technology, much like they do with other learning materials, such as books, as seen on coolthingschicago.com.
- Technology allows teachers to record, save, and share what they learned in class that day, or more specifically during a particular lesson.
- Assistive Technology can also be a most helpful tool in communicating with or promoting children with special needs or disabilities.
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Review 5 Reasons Why Kids Should be Taught about Technology at an Early Age.