Author: Sherri Peck

Technology and learning in the early years

Technology is all around us today and even in our youngest children’s lives. In recent times, many discussions and debates have made their way around the world around the challenge that parents face when they inevitably have to introduce and manage technology with their own children at home.

tech and learning

Did you know?

As high as 40% of families with children under eight years old own some kind of tablet or device!

This insight gives rise to the following question

What role does technology play in early childhood environments?          

As we move forward as a technology steeped society, on the positive side many teachers believe that technology does have a place in early childhood environments. While many educators have never received the necessary training for using technology in a structured effective way or feel confident in their abilities with technology, the trend suggests that there’s a big opportunity for teachers to up-skill and the need for a framework to equip educators with the basics and competencies to carry out effective education, in a fun, new age way.

However, although teachers believe in the value and benefits of technology in learning, there tends to be a lack of technology on the curriculum. So I believe that, technology as a subject and also as a tool that children can use in their formative years should be part of their learning in order to best equip them for today’s world. Besides that, many secondary schools and all universities and colleges use the latest in computer hardware and software so there’s no better time to give children a head start equipping them academically with a skill to take with them later in school and indeed in life.

The caveats

  • Screen viewing time that children have with devices and what this means for them in early childhood environments
  • Potential adverse effects of technology on the reading habits of children
  • The correlation between obesity in children and using technology
  • The relationship between technology and playing

Conclusion

From what I can see, one thing is for sure – that technology is here for the long haul and teachers’ challenge lies in better understanding how it can be embraced in supporting children’s development and learning. Teachers are open to technology assisted learning but more emphasis should be placed on supporting it financially and on the training of teachers in how to use technology for teaching.

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