Technology Integration In K12 Education/Technology in Early Childhood
Technology is something that is very prevalent in today's society. It surrounds us and is something we all use every day. Technology can provide our students with unique and beneficial learning experiences. When used in an appropriate matter, technology provides the students with an individualized learning experience that they have personal control over. It is the teacher's role to control and monitor what it is the students are looking at but to also allow the students to explore their learning at their own pace. Using technology in the early childhood classroom can be beneficial to the students in many ways and is something that all early childhood educators should consider using and integrating into their classrooms and curriculum.
What Technology Can Provide Students
Technology gives you as a teacher, a way to enhance your students learning. There are software programs available at all developmental levels so it allows you to differentiate your lessons for all learners. It also gives the students a chance to control the pace of their learning since they are in control of the technology that they are using. They are also actively constructing their own learning which allows them to represent their learning the best way that they can and what works best for that student. Using technology can also encourage their social development when you have your students work in groups. Having them work in groups also teaches them important dynamics of group work like taking turns and communication with one another. When you use technology in your classroom in the appropriate ways it can provide your students with many different things. It enhances their learning and allows them have some control over their learning which allows helps motivate them to want to learn more.
Integrating Technology in the Classroom
The use of technology in your classroom is not to teach the students how to use a computer but to use it to expand, enrich, implement, individualize and differentiate your overall curriculum. You can use the computer to support your lessons with CD ROMS or writing programs and the use of websites.
When using technology in your classroom you need to make sure you select developmentally appropriate software and web sites. You want to make sure that your students will be using things that are at their level and not to advanced for their age and developmental level. This will allow the students to get the most out of the technology usage because they will be understanding what they are learning but are also challenged by what they are doing.
The use of computers with kindergartener’s or preschoolers should be introduced either one on one or in small groups. You want to allow for each child to get hands on experience with the computer and the software you want them to use. This will get the use to the programs available to them and comfortable with the technology and using it. You also want to encourage the student to work together in cooperative learning activities.
Activities That Integrate Technology
You can use computers in your classroom in many ways. There is software that can be used that can do many things for your students. You can have your students create books, they can take pictures with digital cameras and then edit those pictures or embed them into text to create new documents. With the older early childhood you can have them scan photos or play with different font options in a word processing program. The internet is also available for students to access learning web sites and varies learning activities.
Advantages of Using Technology
One good thing about technology in the classroom is that “children are natural manipulator of the world – they learn through controlling the movement and interactions between object in their world” (Kneas). The use of computers in the classroom gives students this interaction. They are actively engaged in their learning because they are controling it. They must do actions to move on to the next thing and can manipulate what it is they are learning in their own unique way.
The use of technology also provides a good interactive experience between you and your students. Children learn from us and we must act as facilitators for their learning and when using computer programs you are given that opportunity to work with your students and take advantage of the interactive qualities computers can offer. You as their teacher can use software with them, teach them something new or work on a skill with them. It allows you personal time with the student and provides them with a unique learning experience.
Technology also provides you with the chance to personalize the students learning. The software programs available are avaliable at all developmental levels so it allows each child a chance to work with materials at their own levels. This puts them encharge of their learning and allows them to learn at their own pace and independent level. This is so important because it allows the child to learn at their rate without the pressure of othe classmates. It gives them a sense of responsiblity of their learning and the control will motivate them to work harder.
Disadvantages of Using Technology
Technology in the classroom can be powerful because it focuses on the preference for visually presents information. This is a good thing expect technology can be very “passive because they don’t provide them with the quality and quantity of crucial emotional, social and cognitive experiences children require.” (Kneas) Television falls under this category and can keep them form developmental experiences and keep them from social interactions.
Another disadvantage could be that it is nearly impossible to prevent students from accessing developmentally inappropriate material. They may come across material that isn’t at their developmental level and that causes concern for some. It is the teacher’s job to be constantly monitoring what the students are looking at and do all that you can to prevent them from accessing that content.
Using technology in your early childhood classroom can be very beneficial for all your students. It provides them with the opportunity to be actively engaged in their learning and allows them to have control over what they are learning. It provides them with opportunities to work with other students and also provides the teacher a chance to work with students and provide them with a unique learning experience. Using technology in you early childhood classroom can be helpful and beneficial for you students and it is something that all early childhood teachers should consider integrating into their classroom.
Wardle, Francis. "The Role of Technology in Early Childhoos Programs." . N.p., 2008. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=302>.
Kneas, Kimberly M., and Bruce D. Perry. "Using Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom." Scholastic. Scholastic Inc, 2010. Web. 24 Nov. 2010. <http://teacher.scholastic.com/professional/bruceperry/using_technology.htm>.
"Supporting Learning with Technology in the Early Childhood Classroom." Southern Early Childhood Association, n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2010.