Friday, February 22, 2013

Technology in the Classroom

I was reading my chapter for a class I'm in - Creative Experiences and the topic was Technology and using it to promote creativity in the classroom.  When I think of technology in a classroom it is probably the basis for how a lot of teachers function.  In a public school everything seems to be computer based these days from report cards, grades, email, lunch counts, attendance counts, and the list goes on.  There are many times that powerpoints are used to discuss topics during lessons, videos to help supplement a topic, and overhead projectors to aid in instruction.  In a typical classroom many teachers simply would not know how to function without basic technology.

With that being said, it's the same scene in early childhood programs today.  Computers are a part of many children's preschool experiences.  You can generally find at least one computer available for children's use during center or free-choice time.  In my experience many early childhood program also have more sophisticated forms of technology present today.  With the growing use of technology in the early childhood program, teachers more than ever need to know the best ways to use technology with young children.  I find this topic of interest and will be very valuable in my career as an early childhood educator. 

Developmentally appropriate practice is an important part of an early childhood classroom and the underlying premise of all educational experiences for young children.  To have a developmentally appropriate classroom means teaching young children in ways that
  • meet the individual needs of each child and meeting the child where they are in their development
  • help each child reach the developmental goals in a challenging and achievable manner as to contribute to his or her ongoing development.  The activity needs to be attainable but not impossible for the child to reach.
  • recognize that what makes something challenging and achievable will vary depending of the individual learners development in all areas 
 When using technology in an early childhood classroom it is important to consider the developmental appropriateness of technology and young children.  Most children will see the computer as something to manipulate just as any other material in the classroom.  With the right kind of software, computers are open ended and discovery oriented.  It is also important to know that the computer would be something that is offered as a treat on occasion--not as the main form of education. 

In developing creativity, there are a variety of technology mediums that help children develop creativity.  This occurs when they manipulate, design, and express themselves using the following technology examples
  • videorecordings - children can plan and record their own dramatic presentations, dancing, field trips, and other activities around the classroom
  • photography - letting the child take pictures allow them to experience their world
  • digital cameras - great way to document the activities of the classroom
  • iPods and MP3 players - great way to include music 
  • Interactive White (Smart) Boards - such a diverse tool to use to appeal to the multiple intelligences
Another way that technology is used in an early childhood classroom is for parent communication.  This is a big piece in an early childhood classroom and with the busy lifestyle of most people these days it is an easy and effective way to keep parents up to speed on what is happening in their child's class.  There are many different ways that teachers can use technology to connect with parents
  • class website
  • electronic newsletter
  • classroom bog
  • Facebook page
These are just a few ways that technology can be used to connect with the parents of your class.  With parents being on-the-go more than ever most parents appreciate this form of communication as well as face-to-face contact with you at drop-off and pick-up.

Technology is definitely here to stay in the early childhood classroom and computers are a part of many children's early childhood experiences.  Technology can enhance the early childhood program by providing variety, interesting learning experiences, allow children to create and develop new ideas, and build on other things that children learn.  


  1. Technology as a teaching aid in the EC classroom is something that often gets overlooked. We want children to be children and have lots of play time. We also don't want them to be left behind when it comes to technology. For the majority of their life, they will be utilizing some kind of device to learn, work, and manage their life.
    My son is 3 and has been using an iPad since he was a little over a year. Most young children can easily figure out how to manipulate and navigate an iPad. There is also so many educational games that are fun.
    I think teaching about computers, touch screens, and cell phones are part of life.
    I was thinking the other day about how much has changed since I was taught how to call 911. Now, you have to consider the only phone in the home might be a cellphone. It might have a lock screen. They need to know how to navigate it to call for help. How do we teach all the different options now? Teaching them to just call 911 isn't going to cut it.

    1. You are soo right! How crazy is it that they can usually manipulate the iPad or computer better than some adults haha!