By Michael Hilkemeijer
The use of technology in early childhood education is very important for several reasons today. The top of these includes helping young children view ICT as tools designed for specific purposes and to enhance learning. Attached such attributes are the benefits of many, however, for these to all be unlocked you must use evidence-based teaching strategies to ensure that children benefit from their digital experiences. Here are five ways on how to use technology in preschool classrooms today.
Develop Technological Literacy and ICT Capability
I have listed this one first as I believe it is the most important. ICT capability can be developed in the most meaningful context-driven activities in the early year curriculum. Seek and plan to develop each component of it and ensure that the correct software is used such as those that are content-free and that challenge children intellectually.
In early childhood education, creative development is in its own area of learning within the EYLF. Using technology in preschool education provides an opportunity for young children to be creative. So you need to encourage them to use drawing and painting programs and apps and model the use of software yourself.
Promote digital play
Good quality role play gives young children the opportunity to make sense of their digital world in which we live in. Allow them to help you set up the role-play area of your learning environment and place quality and appropriate ICT resources there for them to use such as real tech that works, the real tech that doesn’t work, the tech that they made themselves, and toy technology that simulate the working of real technologies.
Use ICT to search for things of interest
Preschool technology in early childhood education can be used by both teachers and children to search the World Wide Web for interesting things on the Internet. You can guide them through the right practices to use keywords to search for what they are looking for so to develop their technological literacy along the way.
Teach Literacy and Numeracy
Using technology appropriate in the preschool classroom also involves software such as word processors and spreadsheets to teach literacy and numeracy. This type of technology in preschool also develops a child’s ICT capability. Of course, you can use subject specific software, however, this will entirely depend on your own learning goals. You may just wish to teach literacy, but remember the value of ICT in enhancing literacy learning and the opportunities that can be missed in a digital world.
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