By Michael Hilkemeijer
In an ever changing world, where technology is the catalyst for many changes and when technology is rapidly changing itself, it is important that parents send their children to early learning centres where they can begin to reap the benefits of technology in early childhood education.
As an early childhood educator, it is important that you do model creative, responsible and appropriate use of technology in preschool activities.
How Children can learn with Technology in Preschool Activities today
Below are 5 ways young children can use technology in kindergarten and preschool today.
Connect with other children
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) when applied to early learning environments can provide the ability for young children to close great distances and communicate through chat, sharing videos or even sharing classes with other children around the world. What a great way build relationships?!
It also helps them learn about their world including their technological one!
Through researching and exploring young children gradually begin to understand the role of technology in their lives whether it may be tablet computers, mobile phones, laptops or desktop computers. In the process, they learn key information literacy skills to help them access, evaluate, search for particular things of interest to them such as maybe animals or video clips about a topic.
One way that you can use iPads as a type of ICT in preschool is to take it outside with you when the young children are playing. If they are hanging upside down on the monkey bars you could say: “You look like a monkey….I wonder what other animals can swing? Shall we investigate on the iPad and see?”
However, iPads is just one example of ICT in preschool so you could also use laptops or your smartphone to model this sort of use ICT in life.
A key purpose to use ICT in preschool is to develop or build a child’s ICT capability and by encouraging the use of creative apps that are open-ended you can respond more to their learning needs. Nurturing creativity in early childhood education and in addition to the main drawing and painting apps, you can also use apps that duplicate the familiar Etch a Sketch activity.
There are also apps that enable you to work with a child to design and create objects, machines, and clothes. You need to focus on apps where children are prompted to solve problems, build or create and that gives them full control of the software and allows you to achieve your goals of integrating Information and Communication Technology in preschool activities.
Promoting robotics in early childhood education can be a great way to learn and play. Simple robotics such as bee-bots or ‘dot to dot’ programmable robots can be use with navigation maps and integrated well into your early years curriculum. The use of robotics also allows for the learning of early code and problem solving.
Role playing is about learning without failure and is it well known that young children lest best when playing. So a great way for you to integrate ICT in preschool and to help them learn about the use and role of technology in early childhood education is to provide them opportunities. These can include both working and non-working technologies. It can also be toy technologies that resemble the real, authentic technologies that people use today.
So let them tinkle with technology in preschool activities this way and help them understand their technological surroundings better.