The Role of Technology in Early Childhood Programs

The times are changing now and so is the way of imparting education. The advent of technology has enabled teachers to chart new ways towards highly innovative and enhanced teaching approaches.

This promotes a healthy learning experience and a highly interactive environment in early childhood programs. There are instances where research indicates the majority of teachers integrating technical devices in early childhood programs but the key lies in providing a support system to effectively use such devices.

A.    Increased Engagement and Attention Span

A typical holistic child development program considers all the aspects of technology like integrating tablets or whiteboards for enhanced engagement amongst the pupils and also effectively blend in the use of technology in their everyday classroom lessons.

This opens up space for teachers to create an exceptional learning environment such that children do not get bored. The idea is to pour in the fun element to learning and technology in the classroom will make space for bringing in new resources to study. Many children may have a lower attention span and to hold their heads in one line of thought is a tough task. Books are right at its own place but a certain interactive experience of using apps or online quizzes increase their retention and stops their thoughts from diverting.

B. Enabling Professional development of teachers

On the other end of the spectrum, we have teachers using technology to harness their teaching skills so as to blend in effortlessly to the needs of each student, individually. There are instances where teachers believe to be benefitting thru assistance from technology and thereby redefining the scope of education.

This means, early childhood classroom must also provide necessary teacher training to leverage on their ability to use more technology. Such an initiative can also significantly boost teachers’ confidence and thereby enabling professional development.

With more such training and adaption of technology amongst teacher, the early childhood program also stands an opportunity to implement learning experiences at multiple touchpoints.

The school should ensure that the right set of IT infrastructure is available for a symbiotic growth of the teachers and children alike. This include keeping system updated, providing high-speed Internet access and also periodic maintenance of devices. Teachers also find it easy to stay actively involved in curriculum management while school can leverage on their feedback to build the right apps for engaging young pupils.

C. Enhanced Learning

Education is universal and children think and work similarly in almost every corner of the world. Be it a preschool in Ahmedabad or the one that is in Adelaide, the skills and creativity of children prospers the most while they are enrolled in early childhood programs.

It is that important phase of their life responsible for making them better learners for the future. Roping in technology during their early schooling will enable them the experience of more direct application and preparing them for the time to come as they advance their education journey.

Previously, children were kept (or rather have to stay) confined to typical daycare school, books, and libraries. The advancement in technology introduced the computer to the teaching world.

That was the first step towards an immersive learning future as now we have virtual and augmented realities integrated to learning concepts from algebra to geography. Gone are the days when speaking to children about pyramids and describe it while reading from the book.

Today is the time where technology can actually stepchildren into a virtual reality giving them the immersive experience on how does it feel like to be there around the erected structures. The virtual augmentation will have them gain the first-hand experience and audio will accompany the visuals. Such an experience will leave learning memories rather than plain words in the book.

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Source: www.upstatecp.org

Ways of incorporating Technology in Early Childhood Programs

• Enable children to operate touch-screen devices packaged with a wide range of interactive media learning experiences. They all collectively collaborate on enhancing the feeling of success and evoking joy amongst the students.

• Providing a new way to search the required information using Google and other search engines while also learning on computer operation.

• Capturing pictures and videos of children artwork or blog buildings and show them on a big screen for everyone to appreciate. This motivates them to do better and learn from others instinctively.

• Blending in the technologies that help children with special needs or have developmental delays.

•  Documenting the learning graph and progress by recording videos and creating growth story of each student of what he/she has learnt

Conclusion

Childhood programs can easily create a great platform for children by making them future-ready. And for the child-care professionals to succeed in today’s’ time the access to technology is a must.

This helps them to efficiently support teaching processes, create more concrete professional development opportunities and also help connect to parents easily and share results and progresses to them in a constructive manner.

The role of technology isn’t just limited to childcare software and apps so as to make jobs easier and learning fun. But it assures a valuable learning experience that impacts the growth of children’s knowledge and holistic development.

Usha Agarwal

Usha Agrawal co-founder at LittleWings, one of the leading Preschool in Ahmedabad that focuses on the holistic development of children. Her dedication towards understanding childhood development contributed immensely to providing many kids with a solid foundation in the early years.

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