I wanted to talk to you about the types of ICT tools that you might use in your early childhood learning environment. It is important to note the quality and appropriateness of the ICT tools directly affects the quality of the role play. However, this doesn’t mean that you have to go and buy the seemingly never-endless array of ICT tools and resources out there. True, the ICT tools need to reflect what the children are using in their lives, however, it is more important to have range of different types of ICT tools which is valuable in its own way.
|ICT Tools in Early Childhood Education|
What are appropriate ICT tools and resources for early childhood?
There are in fact 4 different types of ICT tools that the children will find useful. Let’s go through them now.
ICT Tools that Work
The first one is ICT tools that work such as digital cameras. These are great because they give children opportunities to explore ICTs and develop their understanding of how it works. They also learn why we would want to use them and then learn to use them in a supportive environment.
To watch children’s competence and confidence grow in their use of these in role-plays will be fantastic and they will soon begin to use them for a real purpose within the context of the role-play situation.
ICT Tools that don't work
Of course, the other end of this is ICT tools that don’t work such as old and unused keyboards and digital cameras. One such issue that you come across with working ICTs is that children may become too confused about getting the ICT tool to work rather than role-playing its use.
And this is where Toy technologies come into play. Here I am talking about any toy that resembles a real-life working technology. You can equip the role play area with toy technologies and some of these may have few or no working parts. Examples of this may be a toy mobile phone with buttons to press.
There is one advantage to the toys that do actually ‘work’ and that is it enhance the role play experience and prompts actions and reactions from the children.
Finally, we cannot disregard the fact that the children may want to create the ICT tools themselves. Made technologies make excellent props for role play. This may in fact be more valuable than any other props as the children have made a personal investment in their creation of the tool for their role play.
From a teacher’s perspective, this is fantastic as you can then gain an understanding of the children’s understanding of the ICTs through effective questioning and dialogue. Furthermore, by observing the children construct the ICT tools you are able to build on your understandings of a child’s view of ICT.
So those are the appropriate ICT tools in early childhood. Remember it is not about the next big technological development to come along that will solve your ICT integration issues.
It is about the here and the now of the available technologies and imagining the potential of its use for learning in the context in which it will be taught.
5 ways to empower young children in ECE
To empower young children is to set them up for life in terms of value, capability and the realisation that they can play a creative role in their lives in the future.
If you were to think that empowerment in ECE means allowing young children to have a say over everything, it would be incorrect. Young children must learn to work within the rules and guidelines set out by authorities.
However, empowerment in ECE is about allowing young children to make informed choices about themselves, identify and take responsibility for the consequences of their actions (Bonkers Beat).
They also need to be given the opportunity to truly engage in the technological world that surrounds them in a meaningful way.
ICT as an empowerment tool, therefore, can be useful in early childhood education. Each of the following 5 methods of empowerment in ECE can be applied through the use of integrating technology in preschool or kindergarten. ICT tools can be very useful.
Here are 5 ways that you to promote empowerment in ECE.
Grow confidence and self-esteem
This is all about allowing young children to feel happy and comfortable about who they are. It is also about promoting the opportunity to try new things and explore. As a result, they are able to manage their behaviour.
I have mentioned earlier that independence is significant. It gives autonomy to young children and allows them to have their own lives.
Building empowerment in ECE is a key factor in building resilience. It enables young children to bounce back from whatever life throws at them.
When young children that they can create many great things with ICT, for example, in their own worlds they develop self-respect.
Make them better learners
Information and Communication Technology (ICT) is the best tool in a digital world to ensure that young children become better learners. There is a range of resources that they can access and learn from and it enables them to become better lifelong learners.
So embed these strategies into your learning environment today.
Free Online PD for Early Childhood Educators
Hi! My name is Michael Hilkemeijer and I help early childhood educators integrate technology in preschool and kindergarten.
Join this free course today and learn my top 5 teaching strategies in early childhood education that will enable you to successfully start this process today.