Here is what we will cover today. We named our presentation Why and How because in addition to giving you the How, we want to lay the rationale for Why..Why should you do this, why should you care….I’ll be covering the Why and my colleague Jenne Parks the How.
Lets start with the most fundamental question….what is educational technology. It’s a field unto itself and it’s a robust field. And It’s grounded in many of the theories of child development, education, and psychology. I’d like to share some definitions with you. While its challenging to sum up a whole field in a definition, theres some value in sticking a stake in the ground so we can have some common understanding.
You may look at this and think wow that’s a lot of words and jargon…but if we unpack it a bit there are some key elements that represent the idea of educational technology.First we have facilitating and improving so we have the teaching aspect.There is learning and performance so we have end goals. Through creating, using, and managing we have implementation. And then popping back up to ethical..when working with children in particular this is actually an obligationBut a definition like this just tends to float around and until it gets pinned down into what it looks like for users its not very meaningful…So in that vein I will share this with you….
Here’s what one of our users Sebastian who is five has to say about technology and learning.
Another driving force in the field is knowing whose working there…You may be interested to know some of the major groups These include (but there are others):AECT = Association for Educational Communications and Technology-we saw the definition from themISTE = International Society for Technology in Education..very large group and just beginning to think more about early childhood ….hoping that is fostered.USDOEOET = US Department of Education Office of Educational Technology- run by Karen Cator…they have a national plan you can access on line.NAEYC = National Association for the Education of Young Children –not a tech group but they are very active right now about to release a revised position statement on the use of technology with young children
the term “developmentally appropriate” is just as important when talking abouteducational technology as when we are talking about any other experience for young children. The heart of the term stays constant …and you can see here some of those key elements. Okay…now we’ve built the house…let’s see what goes inside….
Read questionsMany skilled and thoughtful writers have brought this shift to our intention. these include Doug Clements , Julie Sarama, and David Shade.They’ve done so because of groundbreaking work and then confirmation work by people like Susan Haugland, June Wright, and their own work. From this we’ve learned that young children on average of course have reached a developmental level where theyre ready and able to engage with technologyphysically they have enough basic fine motor skills to operate the technology and cognitively they’ve got an attention span long enough and focused enough to do so.Emotionally, they show very high interest and motivation for using technologyresearch-based is a term used a lot…and often seems used without access or attention to really knowing whats under this term.Research is useful in making decisions about how to spend valuable and sometimes scarce resources…whether your time or your money….In the next section Im going to share some highlights of research with you…not to bore you but hopefully to empower you.
Especially from the early eighties through now, a large body of research is present on young children using computers we’ve learned there can be many positive outcomes when young children use developmentally appropriate educational technology so…Let’s take a look at some of the findings which I will preface by saying I have some research that is based on more traditional technology like desktop computers and with a mouse and keyboard…and then I’ll share what we know about newer technologies…
I’m going to talk about cognitive, social-emotional, and higher thinking outcomes first. I’d like to start with language and literacy. Preschoolers’ language activity, being words spoken per minute, has been found to be almost twice as high at the computer as other other activities, including playdough, blocks, art, or games (Muhlstein and Croft). In no way are we suggesting not doing these activities, but simply that language when using a computer can be higher. In story telling, Riding and Tite found that Preschoolers told longer and more structured stories when they saw graphic presentations on a computer than when they did not.
Before we cover the research in writing, I actually would like to stop and take a poll. How many of you use technology to support children’s emerging writing? Any kind of technology counts! For those of you who do, you may have already seen that one thing that happens and which research confirms is that with computer-based writing more fluid ideas are generated and young children are freed from mechanical concerns, so they have fewer mechanical errors AND less worry about making mistakes (Bangert-Drowns, 1993; Jones & Pellegrini, 1996).For example, the Moxley study found 3 year- olds using the computer to write (which by the way in this study they self-selected this activity) showed steady improvement in spelling and storywriting, including invented spellings…and At 4 their they outperformed children without computer based writing experiences (Moxley, Warash, Coffman). Lets take a look now at math…of course in math related fields like science, engineering, statistics, using technology is integral…and it turns out it can promote learning math for young children. Concrete experiences with three dimensional objects is a fundamental approach for teaching math…and that should not change, however Brinkley and Watson found that 3-year-olds learned sorting from a computer task as easily as from a concrete doll task so it is a comparable approach. More on manipulatives…Researchers have found that when using these in a computer format, children learned both to understand and apply concepts such as symmetry, patterns and spatial order (Wright, 1994).Let’s talk now about Computer Assisted Instruction (CAI) also known as Drill and practice. (Clements & Nastasi, 1993) who have done a tremendous amount of excellent work in this are found that CAI software can help young children develop competence in such skills as counting and sorting
Let’s turn now to Social-Emotional. This is an area that people show a lot of concern about particularly with regard to isolation…but the research shows there can be a different story…As one illustration, Muller & Perlmutter, 1985 found that children at the computer spent 9 times as much time talking to peers than while doing puzzles.praise and encouragement of peers is prevalent when at the computer (Klinzing & Hall, 1985). And rather than disrupting ongoing play, the computer center has been found tofacilitate positive social interaction that are pretty extensive like , cooperation, and helping behaviors (King & Alloway, 1992; Rhee & Chavnagri, 1991)
Some worry when children use computers they won’t learn to think for themselves…but actually this is one of the areas where technology can really transform thinking.One skills is children being able to stay interested in a task long enough to learn it. Which Shade found when children used the computer together (Shade, 1994) . Studies have found that when children are in control (and that is key for these kinds of outcomes to be possible), there is increased: --creativity (Escobedo, 1992;). problem-solving skillsdecision-making ability, (Nastasi et al., 1990), understanding of cause and effect, (Goodwin, Goodwin, & Garel, 1986), andLonger attention span (Haugland, 1992)Note on this last finding. There is a lot of discussion and some reputable findings that heavy media use is related to decreased attention span in kids…but of course we have to define media…what we are talking about here is interactive experiences where children have control and open ended opportunties…when children have these they become engaged and take ownership and their interest increases…and increased interest is related to longer attention….
I want to touch on this area for a couple of reasons. One is the positive outcomes seen when special needs learners interact with technology but the other is because a lot of the cutting edge technology we have , both hardware and adaptive software, has come from designing for special needs learners. And by the way Jenne is going to be talking about an evaluation criteria that looks at programs being customizable to meet children’s learning needs. In the interest of time I’ll highlight just one study….Huntinger and Johanson found that special needs preschool children in a computer based program made progress in all developmental areas, including social-emotional, fine and gross motor, communication, cognition, and self-help. When joining the program, the children were only making an average gain of ½ month per month. While participating in the program, however they were making on average gains of 1.8 months per month. Results indicated that the computer made a unique contribution. Additionally, looking across 11 common classroom activities, including play, books, computer, art, and snack time, result showed that computer use was most often followed by desirable behaviorssuch as sharing, communicating, taking turns, and focusing and least likely to be followed by aggression
Well, we have done a very fast walk through of the foundational research literature. As I mentioned, This work is pretty much exclusively based on traditional computers…most often desktops. But this is changing. Next we are going to take a quick look at newer technologies and discuss the available research. Most of this is usability-based rather than outcomes-based because there has not been enough time year for much outcomes-based, but the research that is available is showing promise for what can potentially be even stronger and more diverse types of positive outcomes.
First up, Interactive whiteboards or IWBsGrunwald and PBS conduct large surveys of teachers about technology and digital resources and recently they have begun including prek teachers. Some of their findings include that teachers overall considered IWBs the most valuable digital resources.topping teachers’ wish lists for technology that they believe they need.Reasons cited by teachers for their strong affinitysay it helps them to be more effective and creative, increases student motivation, discussions,creativty and is directly related to student achievement. Their viewpoint is that IWBS can serve as a bridge from traditional pedagogy—the teacher in the front of the class delivering informationto a more collaborative culture of learning supported by technology.------------ No Content ------Overall, these findings suggest that media and technology resources are making their way into pre–K classrooms, albeit in ways that suggest more tentative and, perhaps, skeptical integration by pre–K teachers. Half of pre-K teachers (50 percent) believe that the content available in fee-based resources is not appropriate for their students’ age or ability.
The study also found that where IWBs were installed at the right height for preschool aged children (and actually that is a key factor to consider!), teachers noted greater collaboration and sharing of the task than at a desktop computer .I’m going to share one more study on IWBs with you briefly, but first I’d like to take a moment and invite Jenne in to share an illustration of what she has seen in early childhood classrooms using this technology….
Wood in 2001 conducted a study on almost 30 preschools in the UK that had IWBs.Sidenote is that the UK has been placing IWBs in educational settings for quite a long time now. She found that children who wouldn’t normally choose to work on the computer were doing so with the IWB, their teachers observed these young children could do the activities without needing the fine-motor skills required to operate a mouse. (Wood 2001).
Our own work at Hatch Early Childhood includes a recent study on IWBs with literacy and mathematics content where we found preschool children made significant gains on school readiness screeners after 6 months.
Onto mobile technolgy, which is Decidedly the technology that has gotten the most attention and has made its way most quickly into classrooms is mobile technologies particularly tablets. Lay articles, blogs, and groups are all abuzz and the conversation has already moved from “should we use this technology” to “is anyone else using this technology” to “how can I use this technology?”This is really an area where the research has yet to catch up but there are a couple of studies that have looked at using these devices with young children and the results are worth noting….In a study with stylus driven tablets children were able to transfer from one model to another with a year in between with no trouble (Couse & Chen, 2010).In a study with touchscreen tablet (ProjectLamp, 2011), children learned to use the technology and the apps very quickly.-------------Children showed the ability to interact with the educational technology independently. They persisted even with glitches such as slow response. They exhibited confidence and freedom in experimenting with different options.---------------
Even more promising is that they showed an increased mastery of conceptsAs well as they had the capability to explore concepts that were more complex and more abstract….I’d like to make a quick comment about abstract concepts and preschoolers because there is sometimes this line drawn into the sand about not exposing or expecting younger children to understand abstract concepts-meaning not connected directly to some concrete experience. The Neo (or new) Piagetian movement has found that some of Piagets theory still holds and some does not…one area where it does not is the age at which children can understand more abstract (or logical to use the theories terminology) concepts. When young children have an opportunity to interact with information more familiar to them they do show more competence than Piagets original theory proposed. Ok….Now that we have talked a bit about the newer technologies, we want to turn to the really vital question…..
This is a very active area of research and takes us back to the shift in the question from should we use technology with young learners to how best can we do so.Incorporating or integrating educational technology is like thinking about a higher order skill where the sum of the parts are greater than the individual components themselves. We’re talking about it becoming infused and interwoven…really a “natural” part of the educational experience. We will take a look at some areas to consider.
Perhaps the best way to get started is to get clear about identifying your goals ad outcomes in an intentional way. Flip the situation from how to fit technology into the curriculum, and instead thinking about what you would like to see as a result of using it.-our children will get exposure to literacy skills in ways that will help them advance and be better prepared--have opportunities to learn about cooperation and sharing--save and revisit their projects over time--our teachers will be able to save children’s work in digital formats and more easily share and dialogue with parents, colleagues, and administrators--to collaborate with each other on planning and saving activities and lessons --our children and teachers will gain in confidence about using technology--our children and teachers will have fun!Its pretty critical that these then get connected with how the technology can meet them and make their way all the way to areas like being included in the lesson plan…because the research is showing that if there isnt a deep connection integration probably wont happen.
Using educational technology just like any other experience is about the children connecting with the teacher and with one another. Plowman L, Stephen C., McPake, J. (2010) use the term guided interaction. This encompasses There are many ways to conceptualize supported learning within the Vygotskyan tradition, includingscaffolding (Wood, Bruner & Ross, 1976), assisted performance (Tharp & Gallimore, 1989), Guided interaction shares with them an emphasis on the mediation of learning, but differs in its focus on technology-mediated learning.I’d like to take another poll question now …How many of you have to follow a mandate about time that children can use technology? There is a HUGE debate about this and many of the recommendations aren’t based on direct research around how much time do children need to learn something. But there is some…..Goodwin and colleagues found for example, a small number of sessions, specifically three 20-minute sessions with simple readiness software, failed to show an effect on preschoolers’ prereading concepts (Goodwin, Goodwin, Nansel, & Helm, 1986).Conversly, About 10 minutes work with CAI per day develop reading readiness abilities such as visual discrimination and letter naming
Lets talk about educator support. Despite increased access to technology for children and teachers, an area of substantial difficulty is effectively integrating these technologies into programs. Research confirms The classroom teacher is the critical factor in the full development and use of technology1,2while teachers want to learn to use educational technology effectively, the lack of time, access, and support are barriers3. Several studies and reports find lack of professional development for technology use is one of the most serious obstacles to fully integrating technology into the curriculum 1,4,5. U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment. (1995). 2 Trotter, A. (1999). 3 Guhlin, M. (1996). 4 Fatemi, E. (1999). 5 Panel on Educational Technology, President's Committee of Advisors on Science and Technology. (1997, March). This has led many writers to focus on the concept of sustained staff development.
Let me share a quote from Kinnaman: Training must be ongoing and systematic if teachers are to properly complete the "learning cycle" of technology-related professional development (Kinnaman, D.E. (1990). For example, to acquire and transfer the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively integrate technology into their classrooms, teachers must have substantial time which can range from 30 plus hours to several years to fully support higher-order thinking skills, decision making, and collaboration in students (Sheingold & Hadley; 1990
There is some interesting movement in putting a robust model together about this need. This is the TPACK model developed by Mishra and Koehler and its premise is Bringing our knowledge about teaching, technology and content as the intersection where where children have the greatest potential for learning. Being adopted in preservice programs and researchPedagogical knowledge (PK)- being deep knowledge about the processes and practices of teaching and learning … is then combined with knowledge about howtechnology and content are reciprocally related.This results in using technologies in constructive ways to teach content
Like to share a modelproject..it was multi-year (3). 46 early educators 16 preschool classroom 8 schools.in-depth technology workshops and monthly onsite follow-up visits. Purpose to lead participants from basic computer operations to software evaluation and selection, toward the end goal of integration of technology within the curriculum. What they found was teachers began to apply constructivist ideas and modified and improved their interactions with children, particularly scaffolding. So As children’s competence and confidence grew, teachers’ statements to children acknowledged a trust in their budding capabilities, “I know you can figure that out by yourself.” “Can you remember how you did it yesterday?”rearranged classrooms, re-invented learning centers, for example, they pulled the computer away from a bank against the wall. And the teachers themselves had more positive attitudes and greater technology expertise
Okay so we have made it through the Why before going on to the How with Jenne can stop and take a couple of questions if there are some pending….
Use of rewards is appropriate if used to make learning goals clear and concrete while supporting the development of skills, as well as positive approaches to learning (e.g., curiosity, sustained attention and self-regulation, flexible thinking and creativity, and persistence). You will want to ensure the software makes the association for the children between the external reward, such as a star or the chance to view a video clip, and the internal reward such as “you did a great job…you worked hard and figured that out…you helped your friend” so that the child wants to engage with the activities because they seek the positive feelings associated with earning an external reward.
Assessment & Progress monitoringEase of useSharing capabilitiesJust like we want to ensure children stay on track and are developing normally physically we will want to do the same thing for them educationally…When we collect information it is best it comes form many sources and it used as a whole…
Additional FeaturesCustomizationAbility to create
“Just spending money on computers without a plan will have a low probability of increasing achievement; however, spending a small bit in each classroom probably will not either. Large-scale, research-based model projects followed by planned implementation of successful models appears to be a wiser strategy.” (p. 36)Clements & Sarama, 2003
Evaluating Education Technology EETC 2012
Why & How to Evaluate Technology for Early LearnersHandout: http://www.hatchearlychildhood.com/layout-images/documents/EETC/Evaluating_handout.pdf EETC Conference March 2012 Lilla Dale McManis, Ph.D. firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright 2012
Road Map • What is educational technology? • What does the research say? • How do we integrate it into the classroom? • How can we evaluate it? • What does a typical technology- enriched day look like in your program?*Disclaimer: Photos do not imply endorsement.
From an Adult Expert“ Educational technology is the study & ethical practice of facilitating learning & improving performance by creating, using & managing appropriate technological processes & resources. ” Association for Educational Communications and Technology, 2008 .
From an Child Expert“ I like computers because they teach me so much and if I had a friend who didn’t have a computer, I would tell him the cat and cow story is my favorite because it is so funny! They go to another country with the cat on the cow! ” Sebastian, 5 years Mudpies Child Development Center Winston-Salem, NC
Road Map• What is educational technology?• What does the research say?• How do we integrate it into the classroom?• How can we evaluate it?• What does a typical technology- enriched day look like? .
Food for Thought“ Just spending moneyplan will have computers without a on a low probability of increasing achievement… ” Clements & Sarama, 2003
What Does Using Technology Look Like for You?• How are you using technology with early learners?• What is really working great?• Where are there challenges?• How do you see your technology use changing in the future?
NAEYC /Rogers Center Technology Position Statement Guiding PrincipleEffective uses of technology and media are:• active• hands-on• engaging• empowering• give the child control• provide adaptive scaffolds to ease task accomplishment• one of many options to support children’s learning
Summary• Research supports young children can benefit from using educational technology• But it must be of high quality and developmentally appropriate• There are key aspects that must be considered• Doing so in a thoughtful, intentional, and regular manner will help practitioners make the best decisions for early learners
Where we will be at EETC…• Thurs. 9:15-10:15 & 10:30-11:30 Roundtable- Usability of a Literacy and Math Content-infused Interactive Whiteboard with Preschoolers & Roundtable-Using Research to Inform Guidelines for Early Childhood Educational Technology Program Development• Thurs. 2:45-3:45 Breakout Session- Why and How to Evaluate Educational Technology for Early Learners.• Fri. 9:15-10:45 Breakout Session- The Power of Using Technology for Progress Monitoring in Early Childhood
Good places for social connections• http://www.ecetech.net/• LinkedIn: Early Childhood Technology Network• Twitter: #ecetechchat – Every Weds. night @ 9 ESTSpecial Announcementhttp://www.ecetech.net/about/early-childhood-technology-collaborative/Early Childhood Technology Today Survey 2012OPEN NOW!!
Future talks/presentations• McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership Connections Conference May 12 in Chicago – Evaluating Educational Technology in Early Childhood• National Head Start Association (NHSA) Conference April 18 in Nashville – Using Technology to Support Young Children’s Social- Emotional Development• International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference June 25 in San Diego – School Readiness: Outcomes & Approaches
We’d like to Where we will bePlease turn in your next….. stay in Conference touch….. Connections Card! • National Head Start Association Conference April 18 in NashvilleHandout: – Using Technology to Support Social-Emotional Development in Young Childrenhttp://www.hatchearlychildhood.com/layout- • McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadershipimages/documents/EETC/Evaluating_handout.pdf Connections Conference May 10-12 in Chicago – Evaluating Educational Technology in Early Childhood • International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Conference June 25 in San Diego – School Readiness: Outcomes and Approaches