Technology has become an integral part of our lives. We use it in every aspect of our daily lives and it is omnipresent at home, work and school. What most parents struggle with is how to make a balance between tech and their young children.
On one hand, it’s not good to completely forbid the use of technology as in that way you deprive your children of various benefits. And on the other hand, children shouldn’t be dependent on tech either.
Anyway, children can reap plenty of benefits from using technology in the right way. Exactly that is the reason why much early childhood education centres integrate technology into their programs.
We’ve prepared this post to help parents grasp all the benefits of using technology in early childhood education. Also, to help educators learn about some of the ways they can integrate technology into early childhood education as well as important things to keep in mind when planning them.
Benefits of Using Technology in Early Childhood Education
There are plenty of benefits of using technology in early childhood education – let’s take a closer look at them.
It Develops Technological Literacy
First of all, getting children familiar with technology helps in developing technological literacy. It is crucial for further education as well as life in general. As we already mentioned, technology is used in all aspects of our lives and it will be integrated even more in future.
It Promotes Digital Play
Digital play is an essential part of the overall play experience, integrated with tech. It can be promoted with the help of various digital devices as a part of a certain activity. Educators can use tech to record some role play, singing or acting. It can later be used to assess the overall experience.
It Encourages Creativity
If presented and used in the right way, technology can encourage creativity. It is necessary for children to develop their creativity at such an early stage of their life. One of the ideas preschools promote is creativity, either in traditional ways or in modern, tech-driven ways.
It Develops Research Skills
You probably noticed that children nowadays become resourceful when it comes to searching for things online. That’s because they grew up in such a world, with phones and Google from the moment they were born. On the other hand, people who didn’t grow up with technology in that way, prefer using some traditional ways of searching for something. It’s one of the great benefits that can come in handy in later life and education.
It Helps With Literacy and Numbers
Technology can also be used to develop literacy and teach numbers in a fun, interactive and engaging ways. Technology is what makes things interesting for children and it is what keeps their attention. A vast majority of children learn both letters and numbers when attending a day care centre.
How You Can Use Technology in Early Childhood Education
Now that we’ve seen some benefits, let’s look at how you can use technology in early childhood education in meaningful and amusing ways.
Teach Letters and Numbers
As children tend to have short attention spans, it is crucial to integrate technology in the right way. There is a vast variety of different apps that can help in presenting letters and numbers to children. You can use them on laptops, tablets, phones and smart boards. Do your research, find some useful apps and make sure that you try them out first. It’s necessary for them to be both educational and fun.
Learn About Animals
All the children love animals, and they learn a lot about them in preschool. Besides the traditional ways of teaching animals, you can use tech to aid you. Again, there are different apps you can use as well as educational games for whiteboards. Children love these and they learn a lot from them. You can also use YT and play some videos.
Use Creative Apps
Whatever you’re trying to teach children – there is an app for that. Or at least something to use on the computer or online. You just need to be creative yourself and find these apps online.
Take Advantage of Robotics
Taking advantage of robotics in early childhood education can be a great way to learn and have fun. One popular way to use them includes simple robotics such as bee-bots or ‘dot to dot’ programmable robots. They can be used with navigation maps and integrated well into your early years’ curriculum.
Enjoy Role Play
Children love playing and they learn best through play. So, it would be great to provide them with some role play activities that use real-life technology.
What to Keep in Mind When Planning Tech Integration in Early Childhood Education
Planning an early childhood education program is not an easy thing to do. Neither is the integration of technology into it. There are some things you should keep in mind when planning how to include technology in such programs.
Be Mindful and Intentional
First of all, you should be mindful and intentional. Every activity needs to have a purpose and a plausible aim. So, to reap all the benefits, children should use technology as part of their lessons rather than scrolling through YouTube without any particular aim.
Be Careful and Educated
It’s also essential to be careful and well-educated. You need to know your options as well as the things children get by using that particular tech tool or feature.
When it comes to choosing suitable activities that involve the use of tech, they should be interactive and engaging. Kids should get moving and use technology in a meaningful way.
Use a Variety of Digital Tools
As there are plenty of digital tools you can use, you shouldn’t be afraid to try and use various ones. Only in that way, you can provide children with diversity and that’s how they learn to use various tools.
Including parents in the learning process is beneficial for kids and their development. So, make sure to find some ways you can include them.
As you can see, technology can have plenty of benefits for children, but only if guided and presented in the right way. In that way, children acquire skills they have for life.