Roadmap to a SuccessfulEducational Technology Program: Why Start with Early Learners? Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Math: Full STEAM Ahead! Conference September 2012 Lilla Dale McManis, PhD
WHY WE NEED A ROADMAP Begins with the youngest students Conflicting information Rapidly changing digital age Unprecedented pace Ubiquitous Transformed mainstream culture Technology and interactive media here to stay All screens not created equal “T” in STEM (STEAM ) both major component and gateway toothers Technology is a tool that is effective only when used appropriately
FOUR BIG IDEAS1) Research Findings 2) Program Philosophy 3) Best Practices 4) Local Evaluation
IDEA 1: RESEARCH FINDINGSBe familiar w/research on traditionaland newer interactive technologiesand learning….But first a snapshot from the popular press~
What Happens When ToddlersZone Out With An iPad? Technology Helps Children Deal With Autism In School Is The Internet Hurting Children? Most Moms Credit Technology With Positive Impact To Family LifeChildren BecomingAddicted To Computers Emerging Technology Has Positive Impact In Classroom The Screens That Are Stealing Childhood The Benefits Of Video Games(Headlines from recent popular media articles)
What do we know?• 30+ years of Research• Negative Outcomes when Passive or for Very Young Children• Positive Outcomes for Preschoolers& Up when Actively Engaged
How are these founded in theory?• Open ended technology-based instruction based on scaffolding (Vygotskian approach), but with a framework more aligned with discovery (Piaget) and constructivism (Bruner)• Computer assisted instruction based on scaffolding (Vygotskian approach), information processing (NeoPiagetians), and actions and reactions (Skinner)
Foundational Research w/Traditional Technology • Language • Literacy • Math • Science • Social- Emotional
Research w/ Interactive Touch Technology • Language • Literacy • Math • Science • Social- Emotional
IDEA 2: PROGRAM PHILOSOPHY Identifying and being true to your early education program’s purposes and goals
Early childhood education is about preparing children for Intentionality school success…Academic and cognitive areas Supportiveness The artsPositive approaches to learningSocial-emotional competence Responsiveness 21st C learning
Technology is a TOOL! Just like books and manipulatives Without skilled teachers guiding children’s learning…...children can only go so far in building the foundation for school success
IDEA 3: BEST PRACTICESSelecting educational technology Using technology with children Professional development and support
Finding the best educational Look for and evaluate:technology can a challenge…. Engagement to enhance learning Child-friendliness Educational value Monitoring of progress Interactivity
Using technology withchildren appropriatelymost important elementNAEYC/Fred Rogers CenterTech Position Statement NETS TPACK
TECH POSITION STATEMENTDevelopmentally appropriate practices mustguide decisions about whether and when tointegrate technology and interactive mediainto early childhood programs.Technology and media can enhance earlychildhood practice when integrated into theenvironment, curriculum, & daily routines.Professional judgment is required todetermine if and when a specific use oftechnology or media is ageappropriate, individually appropriate, andculturally and linguistically appropriate.
IDEA 4: LOCAL EVALUATION Understanding… extent using technology w/ YOUR children meets their needs & how to build on children’s strengths and successes
Teachers YOU as educator are the single most important factorTutors You won’t be evaluating the technology in isolation butVolunteers rather…Administrators What are your goals for the children?Parents How did you design/create activities and experiences? How did you determine if children met goals? How are you communicating your findings?
A developmentallyappropriate approachto local evaluation…
Making sure we go in the right direction when using technology for children means attending to… 1) Research 2) Program Philosophy 3) Best Practices 4) Local Evaluation …and realizing they are integrally related to one another
In Closing…Current focus onSTEM is weak Louder, stronger, more informed voice needed when working in early childhoodStakes andbenefits high foryoung children Technology is also a gateway in STEMTakes time to As informed educators guidingfully supportchildren’s technology use, we can helplearning children become competent excited life-long learners!