By far one of the most important things that you need in the early childhood classroom is evidence based ICT teaching strategies and I think the best way to get this point to you is by this quote:
"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 regarded as a serious medium for learning, and instead seen as a medium for fun."
Robertson, 1998 as cited in Kennewell et al., 2000, p48.
Exposure to ICT these days is NOT enough to ensure that learning occurs in either a curriculum subject or in ICT itself.
So let's look at some teaching strategies in early childhood that you can use today the next time you observe a child using an ICT device.
1. Build on a child's experience of ICT at home
Don't become over reliant on their home ICT activities for their learning. You need to adopt strategies to provide opportunities inside and outside of classroom time.
2. Celebrate their ICT experiences at home
You can achieve this by:
- Encourage parents and carers to bring in photographs which evidence significance at home and ask them to write short commentaries to accompany it;
- Provide certificates that parents can freely access if they want to issue a reward for significant achievement and;
- Actively seek the contributions of parents and carers in the assessment process.
3. Start with the child
The huge growth in both the number and variety of technologies available, coupled with their availability and low price, it is inevitable that children arrive at your early childhood education and care centre with some experience of ICT.
4. Don't let your fear of ICT use spread to the children
Potential obstacles you may experience may include:
- Robustness of hardware as little hands can cause big damage;
- Size of hardware;
- Degree of fine motor skills;
- Use of language or writing that is not developmentally appropriate.
5. Build a picture of their experiences of ICT at home
- Invite families to tell us about their child's interests;
- Observe children at play using a range of ICT devices;
- Talk with parents on a regular basis;
- Listen to parents' stories about their children's experiences of ICT home;
- Build 'cardboard box' technology with children and have open discussion with children about what these are and what we do with them.
ICT in Early Childhood Education Accredited Online Course
Completing this course will contribute to 5 hours of TQI PD addressing 2.6.2, 3.2.2 and 5.1.2 of Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient teacher accreditation in NSW, Victoria, ACT and Qld.