By Michael Hilkemeijer
From Kindergarten or Prep to Year 2, Early childhood educators can use ICT to enhance children’s learning experiences in variety of ways. Despite this, the use of ICT in this stage of learning is often overlooked. There are many reasons why to use ICT in early childhood education, and as a practitioner in the early years setting it will be important for you to understand the key issues in using ICT to enhance learning experiences.
However, in this article I will explain the best practices for you to use ICT to enrich the early childhood learning setting.
The potential of ICT to enhance children in early childhood education settings relies heavily on you to be trained and skilled in the appropriate uses of ICT with young children (Siraj-Blatchford & Whitebread, 2003, p.6 as cited in Bolstad, 2004). It requires you plan effectively for opportunities to occur in relation to ICT activities.
Accredited Online Course for Early Childhood Educators and Primary Teachers: Assess the capability of children in ICT today
Whilst there are many ICT activities to choose from (see list below), enhancement using ICT in Early Childhood Education can best be achieved when you apply evidence-based ICT teaching strategies.
ICT in early childhood is more than just a computer with Early Years software installed on it. ICT is where you can press a button and make something happen. This is the beginning of where children understand that technology requires programming and that they can control of making things happen.
Here is a list of ways ICT can enrich early childhood education.
Personal, social and emotional development
- ICT can help children learn how to share ICT equipment and establish constructive relationships with each other;
- ICT encourage collaboration between children in problem-solving;
- ICT can help children to explore worlds outside of Early Years;
- ICT can encourage children to collaborate between children experiencing difficulties;
Communication, language and literacy
- ICT can help children write messages, label pictures with their name;
- ICT can help children experience computers and Interactive Whiteboards communicating words and pictures from books;
- ICT can children communicate with friends, relatives and peers;
- ICT allows children to experience situations of counting and sharing and identifying numbers;
Knowledge and understanding
- ICT can help children in role-playing as libraries, doctors’ surgeries any kind of office;
10. ICT can help children record in writing, orally and visually their learning experiences;
- ICT can help special education children have access to activities;
- ICT can help promote and develop children’s motor skills;
- ICT can help children use graphic software to verbalise their thoughts with the support of an adult or working friend;
- ICT has the potential to help children create with and sound and video.
The enhancement of student learning experiences in Early Childhood Education with ICT is achieved in many ways. However, unless you are trained in how best to optimise the use of ICT in the early years setting the only benefit achieved is motivation. You should always start by setting high expectations – in other words, knowing what the children know about ICT already. From there, you can ensure that they will progress in their knowledge and skills in ICT.
Other topics in Early Childhood Education include:
Why enrol in this course?
We believe that early childhood educators and primary educators should be supported with ICT teaching strategies - a sentiment echoed by the CEO of ACARA, Mr Robert Randall, and research which states that merely exposing students to ICT is not sufficient today.
As a early childhood educator or primary teacher, you will benefit from enrolling in this NESA accredited course by:
- Practicing teacher-tested ICT teaching strategies which are aligned with the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers;
- If you are a NESA registered teacher, you will earn teacher accreditation towards Proficient teacher;
- Boost your own capabilities in ICT;
- Ensure progression in student capabilities through implementing the correct practices;
- Facilitate student capabilities by practicing scaffolding methods proven to work today;
- Select the right ICT tools and resources - not every technology develops student ICT capability;
- Encourage a whole school approach with your colleagues - as there is no point just you doing it and;
- Teach in an inclusive technology-rich learning environment.
At only $95, you will complete 4 hours of PD addressing 2.6.2 and 3.4.2 of APST and have the chance to think like the experts in making instructional decisions, structuring learning activities, and employing sound ICT pedagogies in the Early Childhood Education learning environment.
Primary Classroom Strategies: Develop Student ICT Capability Today is the accredited course for you!