Technology and Young Children

Technology and Young Children
Three facts about technology and young children:

  1. Technology is used in preschool settings across the country.
  2. Technology is here to stay.
  3. Few people are neutral about the use of technology with young children.

The question these facts often raise for teachers of young children is not whether technology should be used with young children, but how to use it effectively to personalize learning experiences, support learning goals, and empower children to actively shape and control their own learning.

The resources listed will help you frame your own thinking why you should be using technology in the classroom and provide you with some ideas on how to use these powerful tools to enhance children’s learning and development.

Why Technology?

  • Technology, Interactive Media and Young Children – This position statement, jointly developed by NAEYC and the Fred Rogers Center, promotes a use of technology that is developmentally appropriate, intentional, and actively engages children in taking charge of their own learning.
  • Another Learning Tool – This Education Week article provides a balanced look at both best practices and practices to avoid in considering technology for your classroom.
  • But Do They Learn? — One of the big questions about using technology with young children is whether or not they are learning. This video shows how one summer program used technology to help get low income children ready for school.
  • Choosing and Using Appropriate Technologies – This article from Young Children focuses on evaluating educational technology, apps and computer programs for classroom use, and also provides a look at how one preschool teacher weaves technology throughout her teaching. A handy evaluation checklist is provided to inform your choices.
  • State Guidelines – Many states are issuing or have issued guidelines for the use of technology in preschool classrooms. The New Jersey State Guidelines serve as one example.

Suggestions for Using Technology Appropriately

  • Free Apps for Preschoolers – If you are using tablets, you need apps. So why not the best? This list and slideshow focuses on 50 of the best free apps for preschoolers, in the literacy areas of writing, reading, singing and speaking.
  • Best Preschool AppsCommon Sense Media’s site offers teachers (and parents!) reviews of apps, computer programs, movies, games, books and websites, along with “Best of….” Lists and Guides specifically developed for parents.
  • Teaching with Technology – The Technology in Early Childhood website offers up to date app reviews, classroom and home activities, teaching resources (including freebies), tips for managing technology in the classroom, and tutorials for teachers.
  • Activities, Tools, Tips and Techniques – This site provides a rich array of resources and ideas for using tablets, touch tables, computers and whiteboards to support your teaching and learning goals.
  • iPad Ideas – This curated list includes iPad activities, websites, classroom tips, and tracking sheets to encourage intentional and appropriate iPad use in your classroom.
  • Free iPad Games for Toddlers and Preschoolers – This website presents free iPad games in the areas of math, literacy, art, and science for children ages three to five.
  • Reading Rockets Recommends – This national multimedia reading initiative offers a summary of recommended literacy apps for iPads, Android devices and smart phones. Links to reviews and to download each are also included.