The appropriate use of technology in early childhood education and care centres is guided by principles outlined in the DATEC project which was funded by the European Commission CONNECT programme in 2000/2001.
In the guiding principles for use of technology with early learners literature, early childhood teachers need to adhere to DAP principles accordingly. Here are the best DAP principles that you need to adhere to today.
Should be educational – the applications you choose should be educational in nature. Great thought must be given to selecting technology that supports and enhances children’s learning.
It should encourage collaboration – ask the right questions such as How is the technology provided? Are children able to combine materials etc?
The technology should support effective integration in the curriculum and play – children should learn to use ICT as tools in their learning and in their play to connect them to the real world.
Children in control of technology – to develop full ICT capability, they need to be given opportunities to be challenged intellectually with content-free software like word processors.
All applications should be transparent and intuitive – children should have no problem managing appropriate technology. Functions should be clearly defined and intuitive.
Applications should not contain stereotyping and violence – you cannot justify use of these applications in the learning environment.
Support the development of awareness of health and safety issues – you need conduct a health and safety audit of all ICT tools and equipment.
Support the involvement of parents – when parents, teachers and children collaborate towards the same goal it leads to improved attainment levels in ICT capability and ICT literacy as well as in other learning areas like literacy and numeracy.
These principles of DAP make an excellent base for decision-making, both in choosing technologies in early childhood education and in planning uses of technology.