early childhood technology

Early Childhood Technology

Engaging little learners in BIG ways with technology. 

early childhood technology document cameraThe topic of early childhood technology use is a topic that can be quite a dilemma for some. In fact, for many early childhood educators, introducing technology in early childhood education can be quite daunting.

As an educator, there is always a concern that utilizing technology may take away the personal aspect of the learning environment. However, we have found - and research proves - that the opposite is true!

Preschool-aged children are simply amazing, soaking up the world around them like little sponges and learning from absolutely every experience. Every sight, sound, smell and touch brings about a question which leads to new-found knowledge and growth.

early childhood technology mimiopadAs both parents and educators know, this enthusiasm is incredible to witness firsthand, and the excitement young children have for technology is no exception.  Whether you are in a teacher-led or student-driven educational environment, interactive technology can greatly enhance engagement and  learning with your kiddos!

For instance, a document camera can allow children to see the beauty of a caterpillar in great detail on a much larger scale. In addition, it makes it easy to record videos of students interactions.

The MimioTeach interactive whiteboard puts the power in the child's hand, allowing the child to not just witness a lesson but actually experience it!

Innovative technology like the Livescribe smartpen makes recording notes and audio so simple that the teacher can use it to "clone" herself in the room or easily capture student responses, songs, and more!

There was a time that discussing technology in early childhood education opened a can of worms. Was technology in early childhood education developmentally appropriate? Could it even be detrimental?

Thankfully, those arguments have become less and less as technology has now been realized as a positive influence in early childhood education.

What Does Effective Use of Early Childhood Technology Look Like?

It has a point and is intentional.

Early childhood educators should be informed and selective when choosing technology to be implemented within their program, taking into consideration child development and effective practices.

As educators strive to be intentional with technology implementation, the question needs to be asked, "Can the learning goals be achieved more easily using traditional classroom materials or does use of a particular technology extend learning and development in ways not possible otherwise?"

It is interactive, engaging, and empowering.

Technology implementation in early childhood doesn't mean plopping kids down in front of a computer to zone out for long periods of time.  In fact, we would suggest that early childhood educators avoid passive non-interactive technology.

Instead, by putting interactive and engaging technology in the hands of children and their educators, we are empowering them and giving them exciting new opportunities to learn from the world around them.

We are proud to offer technology that encourages student cooperation and collaboration, as well as opportunities to create, explore, and be in control of their learning.

It is a piece of the complete overall learning experience.

Developmentally appropriate technology should be only a piece of the overall learning experience and should not replace excellent traditional activities. Children use their senses to learn about the world around them, and they learn in a multitude of styles.

Interactive and engaging technology can reach kinesthetic, auditory and visual learners simultaneously and can enrich the overall learning experience.

Four-year-old Vivian is enthralled as she sits down with her favorite Barbie book and "reads" the book herself with her Livescribe smartpen.

Her mom has pre-recorded herself reading the pages on audio dots using cut-apart Livescribe dot paper.

Snack in hand, Vivian confidently peruses the entire book, laughing at all the best parts.

Go Above and Beyond the Classroom Walls

It is no surprise that technology has the potential to enrich the classroom learning experience. However, using technology with preschool and pre-K children can also have a far-reaching impact beyond the walls of the early childhood classroom.

Extend the learning experience

One of the doors that technology has opened has extended the classroom beyond the walls. While field trips are worth their weight in gold, they are not always practical or financially possible.

However, technology makes it possible to interact with many interesting people, environments, animals, and activities that children do not have the opportunity to interact with in person.

Strengthen at-home connections

Technologies like document cameras or MimioStudio interactive software combined with an interactive display allow educators not only present lessons in an interactive engaging way, but also allow them to record snippets of the daily work to share with parents.

The Livescribe smartpen is incredibly useful at taking audio samples of kids talking, telling stories, or singing and even records the child's writing and audio at the same time! These files are easy to create and send to parents, and great methods by which teachers can communicate with parents about how their student is progressing.

In addition, these technology tools make it easy to create helpful resources to assist parents in continuing instruction at home. Allowing parents to be involved in the happenings while they are away from their child strengthens at-home connections and makes home an even more productive learning environment in which to continue the learning that goes on in the classroom.

Some of Our Favorite Early Childhood Technology Products

More Early Childhood Technology Ideas

Interested in an early childhood technology demo?

We'd jump at the chance to evaluate your program, offer suggestions, and demonstrate just how engaging early childhood technology can be at your early childhood education center.