The technology can change the practices used in the early childhood education significantly. However, there are still debates whether technologies can guarantee that new techniques and practices are developmentally appropriate. Despite the opponents’ doubts regarding the use of technology in the early childhood education, it should be integrated into the curriculum to provide young students with more opportunities to learn easily, focus on interesting activities, increase engagement, and allow flexibility while adopting different strategies with the help of innovative devices.
Ways to Integrate Technology Effectively
It is possible to integrate the technology into the developmentally appropriate program for young children while using devices as tools supporting the traditional activities. Thus, it is effective to use SMART boards and projectors in the context of children’s activities related to storytelling or reading. It is possible to support stories with large illustrations that can be viewed by all children (Kostelnik, Soderman, Whiren, & Rupiper, 2011).
Furthermore, the use of these devices is important for the aesthetic education of children because the teacher receives an opportunity to demonstrate the art pieces using DVDs and the Internet. Also, the use of iPods and MP3 players is necessary for music education (McManis & Gunnewig, 2012). The other approach is the reference to educational computer games played with the help of tablets and iPads in order to teach children to sort objects or solve puzzles among other similar activities.
Technologies for Adapting Instructions
The use of technologies is also important in classes with children who have special needs, as well as classes with English learners. Teachers can use modern applications for tablets and smartphones to help English learners to translate words. The touch-sensitive devices, SMART boards, and MP3 players can be used to teach children with special needs. When a teacher has an opportunity to enhance the students’ learning utilizing technologies, he or she can also succeed in achieving the educational goals (McManis & Gunnewig, 2012). The effectively-developed plans based on the integration of technologies need to address the learning goals and expected outcomes.
Recommendations on How to Use Technologies
In order to guarantee that the use of technologies by young children will improve their learning and development, it is necessary to choose the child-friendly devices and software. Teachers should choose technologies only after their assessment regarding several criteria that evaluate the program’s content and appropriateness. Moreover, the additional education regarding the use of devices at home should be provided for parents (Blackwell, Lauricella, & Wartella, 2014). Educators need to inform parents regarding the programs or devices they select to apply and explain how to use e-readers, tablets, smartphones, and the Internet at home to complete the tasks and contribute to the children’s development. Much attention should be paid to overcoming the lack of computer knowledge and skills in teachers and parents.
The integration of technologies into the early education program and their use along with the developmentally appropriate practices are important to increase the children’s engagement and interest. Furthermore, the modern technological devices allow the high-level interactivity, and the students’ achievements also improve. In addition, the use of effectively selected technologies is easy for children if the interface and the chosen software are child-friendly. Although the use of technologies requires the developed computer knowledge and skills, teachers should focus on the integration of devices in the educational process.
Blackwell, C. K., Lauricella, A. R., & Wartella, E. (2014). Factors influencing digital technology use in early childhood education. Computers & Education, 77(1), 82-90. Web.
Kostelnik, M., Soderman, A., Whiren, A., & Rupiper, M. (2011). Developmentally appropriate curriculum: Best practices in early childhood education. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson. Web.
McManis, L. D., & Gunnewig, S. B. (2012). Finding the education in educational technology with early learners. Young Children, 67(3), 14-22. Web.