By Michael Hilkemeijer
Are you looking to reap the benefits of technology in early childhood education?
For the convenience of early childhood education teachers, a NEW NESA accredited online professional development has now emerged.
Titled “Technology in Early Childhood Education”, this online workshop for preschool teachers was designed to deliver practical and immediately actionable advice on the best teaching strategies for early childhood teachers when integrating technology.
Why does this matter to you?
There are three reasons all of which are supported by research (UNESCO, 2019). The use of technology in early childhood education is vital because:
- National education systems must reflect, without a doubt, the incontrovertible fact that technology in society is here to stay.
- Technology in early childhood education will begin to unlock learning potential if used correctly.
- There exists no more fertile ground, on which technology can become a force for good, than the mind of a child.
If your early childhood education and care centre is to develop ICT, then this would involve developing your capabilities in ICT as you will be a significant person in children’s lives.
You will need to have a well-developed understanding of the role and potential of ICT in supporting children’s learning, as well as practical and immediately actionable skills in knowing how to make best use of technology.
Therefore, it is important that you become conscious of the kinds of learning interactions they would like to occur in the context of ICT and adopt ICT pedagogical strategies to support these.
ICT Competencies for Early Childhood Education teachers
ICT competencies for teachers in Early Childhood consists of three main areas – Discovering ICT, Learning with ICT and Integrating ICT.
The path which you will take is INTEGRATING ICT.
Our online professional development for early childhood teachers will focus on three particular educational units:
- Pedagogy of ICT.
- Integrating ICT in ECE information.
- Safe and healthy with ICT.
Role of Technology in Early Childhood Education
The role of technology in early childhood education is a powerful one as it comes with many benefits.
In our online professional development for preschool teachers, we address the following roles which include:
Children using technology in their play or learning: role play with technology is such an awesome way for them to develop autonomy in their selection and use of ICT tools and resources.
This type of activity is typically carried out alone, with peers or with adults.
Other examples include children using software to play games, listen to stories (great for language development), or draw pictures.
Children and teachers using ICT together to scaffold children’s learning: one of the examples which we emphasise the importance of is the use of Internet to locate and search for information related to children’s interests.
Information literacy is such an important skill for children and is part of learning about the ‘new literacies’ that they have to know.
Early Childhood teachers using technology for planning, administration and information management: curriculum planning in early childhood education takes on a level of complexity when it comes to technology use.
In our accredited online professional development for teachers, we highlight 11 aspects of planning for any Early Childhood centre or school who wants to improve the usage of ICT in their learning environments.
Children and early childhood teachers using technology to document and reflect on children’s learning or to share children’s learning: good examples of this which is covered in our accredited online professional development for teachers in preschools is the use of technology in early childhood education to digital images, video or audio recordings.
We emphasise how both teacher and child can use ICT as a creative medium in the learning environment.
Examples of technology in early childhood education would include ICT tools and resources such as iPads (or other tablet computer), mobile phones and laptops. All of these have features and functions that allow you to record video, take photos with the digital camera or record a child’s voice given the use of the correct app.
These are just some of the benefits of technology in early childhood education.
The Impact of Technology in Early Childhood Education
So far, I have shared with you some of the roles of technology in early childhood, however, through your experience in an accredited online professional development for teachers in Early Childhood, you will be witness to the impact of technology in early childhood education.
To experience this, requires effective curriculum planning in early childhood education. You must first:
Establish a starting point for learning with technology
Before children enter your learning environment, determine the extent of their technology use at home and what their knowledge of it is.
Talk to their parents or carers about it and this should continue throughout the year.
This will inform your planning and assessment in early childhood education.
Planning in early childhood education
In our online PD for teachers, you will learn how to:
- 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!
You will not truly experience the real impact of technology in early childhood education unless these steps are achieved.
What is the impact of technology?
When you apply the principles of programme planning in early childhood education that you learn in the online PD for teachers, you will start to experience the benefits of technology in early childhood education.
It will be basically two parts:
In early childhood education, this is the foremost of all goals.
So strategic planning in early childhood education needs to be conducted.
The use of technology in early childhood education has an impact on a child’s cognitive development.
Also, if you enrol in online professional development for teachers that focuses on providing you with evidence based teaching strategies that has been proven to develop ICT capability and you apply the early childhood education theories correctly, you will be promoting the development of their higher order skills.
The skills learnt are in fact metacognitive in nature.
Additionally, the examples of technology in early childhood education which you be exposed to through learning does have an impact on the cognitive learning as it great for the following:
- Language development;
- Mathematical thinking and;
- Information Literacy.
Development of ICT capability
Studies conducted by Bolstad (2004) for the New Zealand Government, clearly stated the need for the development of ICT capability in early childhood education.
It consisted achieving two parts – supporting children’s ICT capability and that of early childhood education teachers’.
The report stated that since technology is having a ‘profound’ effect on our lives, it is being taken for granted.
This is a sentiment conveyed also by Kennewell (2000, p48) when he compared the use of ICT today to that of the television many years ago for educational purposes.
“There are already signs that, like television, ICT is becoming a familiar feature in children’s lives and consequently is in danger of ceasing to be regarded as a serious medium for learning, and instead seen as a medium for fun.”
Children in early childhood education need to develop ICT capability.
The successful integration of ICT into your classroom will depend on your ability to structure the learning environment in non-traditional ways, to merge new technology with new pedagogy, to develop socially active classrooms, encouraging cooperative learning and group work (UNESCO, 2019).
The early childhood education theories which you will learn in this online PD will help you achieve just that!
They are evidence based which means that they are teacher tested and proven to promote the development of ICT capability today.
Examples of Technology in Early Childhood Education
Your experience in an online professional development workshop for preschool teachers will expose you to various ICT tools for early childhood teachers to use.
The use of technology in early childhood education involves children taking full advantages of the technology for creativity, collaboration, language development and communication.
Narrowing it down, these are the benefits of technology in early childhood education.
The importance of early childhood education and the potential role of ICT is clarified in our NESA accredited online professional development for teachers.
What early childhood education can achieve for children in children in relation to preparing them for their future is to lay effective foundations for their ICT capabilities.
This is why early childhood education matters today.
We can provide you with early childhood education professional development that addresses key issues in early childhood education.
Here are the early childhood education skills which you will achieve:
- Conduct a thorough analysis of the reasons why use technology in early childhood education.
- Complete a self-assessment of your own capabilities in ICT.
- Master formative assessment strategies such observing children’s use of technology in early childhood education.
- Employ ICT teaching strategies for early childhood teachers.
- Optimise science and technology in early childhood education (STEM).
- Practice inclusion with technology in early childhood education.
- Think the experts in making instructional decisions.
- And much more!
WATCH THIS VIDEO TO LEARN ABOUT THE BONUSES INSTALLED FOR YOU
ENROL NOW IN THIS EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT and discover how our early childhood education courses can benefit your children today.
Cost per Early Childhood Education teacher: $95 AU