Become more confident using digital technology in ECE

When it comes to digital technology in ECE, some people are much more confident exploring what is possible. Others, however, can feel a little nervous, and unsure how to navigate this whole new way of being. ICT certainly challenges some of our ‘tried and true’ values and beliefs about how children learn best.

Do you remember many years ago thinking that the year 2020 would have us all zooming around in a Jetson’s type of world? Everything would be much more advanced, quicker and easier. Anything would be possible with all of the exciting and brilliant technology available, designed to save us time and make life generally easier. A housecleaning robot was something many of us looked forward to in the future, and as predicted, we have robot vacuum cleaners (here’s to future updates here that include the ability for robots to cook dinner, fold washing, and take the dog for a walk). There is a lot that we are yet to see in our lifetimes, but all in all, the general population has grown accustomed to the use of technology.

The use of digital technology in ECE has become a real game-changer. Particularly during COVID-19 restrictions, educators quickly realised its value. You used technology to stay connected with and work with your children and their families. Zoom meetings became the norm, and everyone quickly adjusted to this new way of being.

family using digital technology in ece

As educators, when it comes to digital technology and devices, there are literally thousands of ways that you can benefit from the use of technology. To use for administrative purposes, and also to use with children as part of their learning programme.

So, how can we best utilise ICT (information communication technologies) with educators, children and families?

There is so much to consider and reflect on when embarking on this journey, and we have categorised the things that we feel are most important.

Breaking down the concerns and pedagogy of ICT in ECE

  • Have you considered whether you need to update, or create new policies and procedures that relate to the use of digital technology in ECE? Particularly in regard to educator’s and children’s use of technology in your learning service? 
  • Which programmes, apps and online programmes are best to use with children?
  • Why is it so important to implement safe ways of using ICT with young children?
  • What are some common fears and concerns that educators have about the use of ICT?
  • How do pedagogy and curriculum influence the way you integrate and utilise ICT within your service?

Exploring the world of apps and ICT tools

  • What are some of the basic tools available on digital devices that can enhance your work with children? 
  • How do you critique apps, and how do you choose apps that support the type of learning that you value?
  • What is the difference between an inadequate app, a good app, and a great app?

boy using digital technology in ECE

Staying safe and developing good digital citizenship skills

  • How can you go online with children safely, to investigate and revisit learning experiences? 
  • What are the pedagogical and safety challenges in relation to this?
  • What are some of the very important issues you need to consider, such as copyright laws?

This is just scraping the top of what is a whole new (fantastic) can of worms! It can be overwhelming to know where to start, and from what we have heard, a lot of teams are putting it in the “too hard right now” basket. 

But, as technology advances, are you being left further behind? The short answer is, yes!

STOP THE BUS!! It is time to unleash your inner Jetson, jump on board with us as we take you on a 4 part virtual journey exploring digital technology and devices in early childhood education. 

You will leave feeling confidently capable of implementing new and valuable technology in your early learning service. You will have a solid understanding of the legalities around using digital technology in ECE, and the policies and procedures you will need to create and/or update to ensure the safety of all. We will look at tools and apps, how to choose quality tools and apps, and look at where pedagogy and curriculum come into the equation. Unfortunately, the one thing we won’t be covering is how to make your robot vacuum cleaner find lost socks, empty the dishwasher, tidy up the sandpit or write your learning stories for you. But hey, anything is possible in the future right?

Are you ready to up your technology game? Take the challenge and register for our upcoming workshops today!

 

 

Posted by Sonya McIntyre

Sonya was born in Lower Hutt and went to Rata Street Kindergarten and Petone Kindergarten. A qualified ECE, she studied at Victoria University in Wellington and has worked with home-based educators, in community-based childcare and in kindergarten. With childhood memories of reading books and writing stories, combined with her passion for all things social media, Sonya segued into her role with us at Storypark as social media manager.


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