Technology in Child -Centered in Early Learning Settings
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Technology in Child -Centered in Early Learning Settings



A presentation for EdWeb on April 22,2014 by Fran Simon and Karen Nemeth.

A presentation for EdWeb on April 22,2014 by Fran Simon and Karen Nemeth.



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  • FSS – cover the content on the slideKNN – “When I worked for state DOE, when we monitored preschool programs, if we ever heard a teacher say, Oh! Look at my new project! The PARENTS love it!” we would roll our eyes because that was usually a sign of a bad project. What parents want in so called educational apps may not be the same as what we know is best for young children or for the professionals who are paid to teach them. So today we are NOT talking about marketing directly to parents, but what we do talk about may help you re-think how you approach the parent market too.”
  • have moderate entertainment have low production value have low educational value are redundant are rote/skill based
  • Examples: Wrong: Buying a math game for the computer with no idea what’s in it or what objectives it will support Right: Using the class camera to take photos of neighborhood buildings and create a class book with pictures that show one window, then two windows, then three, then four to create your own activity to meet specific objectives for counting and one-to-one correspondence.
  • Example:My Story app allows children to draw, narrate, and import images to create any story they want to.
  • My Story app by Hi Def – open ended, individual or sharing capacity. Draw, color, import photos and images, cord voice over, save and share.
  • Speech with Milo sequencing app – shows several cards and asks child to put them in the correct order – closed ended app with clear goal.
  • See chart on p. 61 - The Common Sense Approach to Developmentally Appropriate Evaluation of Software, Websites, and Apps Developed for Young Children
  • Here is an array of science activities for preschoolers using various types of technology. Project and activity examples can be gotten and posted on the Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment website
  • As natural as using crayons to draw in a structure in the block area or using props in the dramatic play area.
  • Voicethreads example from Monica Schnee
  • Monica Schnee won a PBS Teacher Innovator award for this project she did with her class of kindergarten ESL students who spoke a variety of languages and had different levels of English proficiency. They created pictures and wording for a digital story about polar bears. Each child took a turn reading their page. The completed story was shared with family members as well as other teachers in the school who were able to record feedback for the authors.
  • Example: Let children take photos of their projects at different steps along the way to record progress. For example – first block, second block…. Etc until the tower is finished, or planting seed, watering seed, and recording the growth of the seedling.For detailed examples – look for the book Picture Science by Carla Neuman Hinds reminds us that young children often need more time to process and remember new information. Taking photos makes it possible for them to go back and think about and talk about the steps in the project.
  • There are even apps designed to capture and use what happens outdoors or on field trips! Example: A Head Start teacher in New Jersey created a Powerpoint with information about an upcoming field trip. This helped her build anticipatory knowledge for the children so they would be prepared to learn more on their trip. She had the Powerpoint presentation running at drop off and pick up times so parents – especially the ones who were less familiar with English – could see and understand what was coming up on the field trip. When the class came back from the trip – they worked with the teacher to add photos she had taken and pictures they had drawn about the trip back in to the Powerpoint presentation so they had a complete record of the trip that they could revisit and enhance for many days afterward.

Technology in Child -Centered in Early Learning Settings Technology in Child -Centered in Early Learning Settings Presentation Transcript

  • Karen Nemeth, Ed.M. Fran Simon, M.Ed. Presented for April 22, 2014 Image credit: Jens Buchert via© Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • What is educational technology? What makes it specific to ECE? © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • Five Keys to “Educational” Technology? - Hap Aziz, via THE Journal Educational technology is the: 1 considered implementation of 2 appropriate tools, techniques, or processes that 3 facilitate the application of senses, memory, and cognition to 4 enhance teaching practices and 5 improve learning outcomes.
  • What Children Should Learn with Technology ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education) National Educational Technology Standards for Students NETS-S (NETS for Students)
  • What makes use of technology tools “Educational”? NETS-S Standard What children do Creativity and Innovation Make Communication and Collaboration Share Research and Information Fluency Discover Critical Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Solve Digital Citizenship Protect Technology Operations and Concepts Use
  • “Hardware” in the classroom * old & new * * analog & digital * * low & hi-tech * * For professional use * * Designed for children *
  • We are trapped by “app mania” 9 Apps designed for children are not always the best choice Think out of the mobile box © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • What can you do with tech tools designed for adults? • Word? • Skype? • Evernote? • Webcam? • Video? • Search engines? • Document Projector? • PowerPoint? • VoiceThread? • Excel? • Camera? • Mp3 Player? • Projector? • Email? @ Copyright, Simon. And Nemeth, All rights reserved. 10
  • Technology is not always the best choice. Technology tools do not replace play or, books, puzzles, or any other “traditional” activities or materials Technology tools are just like paper, blocks or crayons-- materials from which teachers can select to facilitate learning and play.
  • How can we select the best tech tools? © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • Be a critical and educated consumer. You are the gatekeepers who stand between technology and children. You Make the Choices
  • Educators must filter the hype from the reality…. © Copyright, Nemeth and Simon, 2012 14 Engaging What does “high quality” REALLY means for ECE Tech?
  • Analyze claims Look for verbs like create, discover, explore, share, make, solve.
  • Produce or discover something newAbsorb for entertainment or learning CreationConsumption Create and edit videos, take photographs, develop presentations, produce digital art, write stories, organize information, communicate Read eBooks, play games, research on the Internet, learn skills, watch videos or learn concepts from software Creation vs. Consumption Continuum Digital cameras, smartphones, tablets, computer. Internet access, art and design apps and software, presentation software, word processing software, spreadsheet software, social media, Skype, What children do:What children do: The tools:The tools: Apps, software, and websites designed for children, search engines, eBooks © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • Produce or discover something new Creation Absorb for entertainment or learning Consumption Available apps, software, and websites for children © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • Decisions about using software: What you you want children to learn? • What are the objectives? • Is this the right tool for the objective? • Does it extend other activities? • Is it interactive? • Is the interaction meaningful? • Does it fit in with the unit or project? • What is my role using this tool?
  • Decisions about using software: Balance Is the software/app/website for: • A large group, small group, or individual? • Teacher-directed or child-initiated? • Open-ended, concept or skill-focused? • Short periods of time or deeper exploration? • Collaborative or independent?
  • Decisions about using software: Usability and instructional design Is the software/app/website: • Flashy, distracting, overwhelming or just appealing enough? Graphics and sounds engage, but do not distract? • Free of ads or enticements for children? • Recommended by trusted resources? • Easy for children to navigate? • Provide feedback to guide children? • Interactive with meaning or just fun?
  • When Digital Tools Make Sense Meaningful Pedagogical value Engaging Interactive Productive Up to date 24© Copyright Nemeth and Simon, 2102
  • • fit your school’s philosophy • fit the students’ needs, skills, and interests • provide feedback, not praise • offer “leveled” challenges • offer more than rote direct instruction • offer high interactivity • value learning over entertainment • do not include commercial temptations or inappropriate content @ Copyright, Fran Simon. All rights reserved. Apps and websites that: 25
  • Finally, ask yourself :  Is there a better way to offer this experience?  Does technology distract or enhance learning in this specific instance?  Is this a good use of time? More Questions technology-with-young-childre/
  • @ Copyright, Fran Simon. All rights reserved. Application Attribute Matrix From Digital Decisions 27 Imperative for all apps, software, websites Highly recommended attributes for most, but not all software, apps, and websites. Details about this attribute
  • Can technology use in ECE be Developmentally Appropriate (DAP) and Child-Initiated? © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • It’s not hardware or software/apps/websites that make technology experiences educational… It is Beginning •intention Middle •Implementation End •Synthesis Follow-up •Extension
  • Daily Routines • Select the tech tools to align with the curriculum objectives. • Plan technology use as just another tool to get the job done, like books, crayons, pencils, etc. • Not tech for tech’s sake Intentional
  • 31 Technology tools allow children to “DO” (make something happen) and teachers to FACILITATE learning. © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • Integrate technology throughout the day 33© Copyright Nemeth and Simon, 2102
  • 34 Make tech tools available throughout the room © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • Opportunities to foster relationships with children and adults @ Copyright, Fran Simon. All rights reserved. 35
  • Opportunities for Autonomy @ Copyright, Fran Simon. All rights reserved. 37
  • Make sure adults are available to support learning @ Copyright, Fran Simon. All rights reserved. 39
  • Integrate technology throughout special events@ Copyright, Fran Simon. All rights reserved. 40
  • Integrate technology when children go home 41© Copyright Nemeth and Simon, 2102
  • Good Examples of DAP Tech • that-supports-early-learning-three-examples/ • amples.pdf • for-preschool-bilingual-apps-by-karen-nemeth/
  • How much time on tech? © Copyright Simon and Nemeth, 2014
  • How Much Time? Recommendations from Digital Decisions Copyright, Simon and Nemeth Variables that impact decision making Recommendations
  • NAEYC/FRC Joint Position Statement on Technology in ECE CLASSROOMS Copyright, Simon and Nemeth 46
  • Interactive Media Use at Younger Than the Age of 2 Years Time to Rethink the American Academy of Pediatrics Guideline? Dimitri A. Christakis, MD, MPH JAMA Peridatrics, Viewpoint March 10, 2014 Using Early Childhood Education to Bridge the Digital Divide by Lindsay Daugherty, Rafiq Dossani, Erin- Elizabeth Johnson, Mustafa Oguz
  • Leading ECE Tech Information Hubs Alliance for Early Learning in a Digital Age
  • Review site Resources for ECE teachers and administrators Resources for ECE teachers and administrators Fred Rogers Center’s Early Learning Environment Resources and tips for teachers A website and newsletter summarizes products and trends in children’s media Resources for Teachers, Parents and Staff
  • Information for teachers about reading and literacy activities American Library Association – Listing of great sites for children and teachers International Reading Library- free ebooks from around the world Songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world. Free ebooks to read online Resources for Teachers, Parents and Staff
  • Early Childhood Technology Network