Curriculum Planning in Early Childhood Education
Children in preschool and kindergarten, not to mention those in Foundational education should be finding out about and identifying the uses of ICT in their everyday lives in addition to using programmable toys and computers to support their learning.
As an early childhood educator, you should then encourage children to observe and talk about the use of ICT in the environment. It will be through an improved awareness that young children will become the technological innovators of the future. What is vital though, is the integration of ICT across the entire curriculum.
There are 11 ways that will you can plan effectively if your goal is to integrate ICT into the Early Childhood curriculum:
- Plan for the progression of ICT capability;
- Plan for continuity in ICT capabilities;
- Plan for Outcomes;
- Plan for Personalised learning;
- Plan for ICT resources;
- Plan for the next session;
- Plan appropriate ICT activities;
- Plan the learning environment;
- Plan for the assessment of ICT capability;
- Plan to challenge children's capabilities in ICT;
- Plan for the short term - day-by-day!
Plan for Progression in ICT capability
Progression not only occurs in the classroom with lesson-by-lesson but also from year to year and even from unit-of-work to unit-of-work.
Plan for the continuity of ICT capability throughout the school
This requires more than a single of effort of person - it is a whole-school approach and ensures that a child's capabilities in ICT are continually build upon as they move throughout their school career.
Plan for Outcomes
For those in Early Childhood it means ensuring that you are using the EYLF outcomes - particularly 4 and 5 - to plan your learning outcomes. Foundational teachers that may extend to Year 2, should use the Australian Curriculum outcomes in the Learning Areas.
Plan for personalised learning
Individual learning plans (ILPs) helps individual children achieve specific outcomes. You need to ensure that you are clear which learning outcomes you are working towards and why. What does the child understand now? How can you extend this learning? It has also means being connected to a child's experience of the world.
Plan for ICT tools and Resources
Selecting the right ICT tools and resources is just as important as matching them to the intended learning objective. Factors that you need to consider include the 8 principles outlined in our early childhood online course. How do beebots help to achieve outcomes?
Plan for the next session
Long-term and medium-terms plans need to be considered. For long-term plans it is best to break into four subheadings such as resources, strategies, supporting learning and organisation. Involve the whole staff because patterns in learning settings can inform your choices.
Plan appropriate ICT activities
Exposure to ICT will not develop a child's capabilities in ICT. Don't reinvent the wheel and remember, copying type finished work into a neat version is NOT an appropriate activity for them.
Plan the Learning Environment
The setting itself will have an impact on how you plan and also how will be able to employ your formative assessment measures in projects.
Plan the assessment of ICT capability
Assessments should always be planned and when determining a child's capabilities in ICT there is no exception to this rule. What method is the ideal way for youto ensure that you don’t just focus on one particular aspect of their ICT capability, mainly techniques and routines?
Plan to challenge a child's ICT capability
Children today are fluent with technology even more than the generations before them. As a teacher, you need to set challenges for students with ICT that will help them progress further in their capabilities.
You mustn't forget about your short-term planning as this can change throughout the duration of the day or even hour. Don't be set in one thing that you planned earlier to ensure that continue to meet the learning needs of children in your care.
By planning for the integration of ICT across the entire early childhood curriculum you will will ensure that ICT will be view as a tool to support and enhance teaching and learning, and not simply as a skill to be learned and an 'add-on' to the curriculum.
This recognition is very important. Tools are designed to be applied for particular purposes when required. Not as a means to an end.
When ICT is used in an imaginative way to deliver your early childhood education curriculum, then the quality of what is taught and learned is further developed.
It is essential that you consider how you can integrate ICT into your teaching so it is effective. Planning for the integration will help you develop and enrich the best opportunities for children.
If you want to learn more about the effective integration of ICT in early childhood education, follow this link.
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