What is REALLY Happening with Technology in Early Childhood Education: Voices from the Field- Survey Results


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By Dale McManis, Karen Nemeth, and Fran Simon at FETC, 2013

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What is REALLY Happening with Technology in Early Childhood Education: Voices from the Field- Survey Results

  1. 1. What’s REALLY Happening withTechnology in Early Childhood Education?Voices from the Field:2012 National Early Childhood Technology Today SurveyLilla Dale McManis, Ph.D. Karen Nemeth, Ed.M. Fran Simon, M.Ed.CS2277Copyright 2013 by ECTC. All rights reserved.
  2. 2. Early Childhood TechnologyCollaborative (ECTC)• The Early Childhood Technology Collaborative(ECTC) is a group of three early childhoodtechnologists with lots of questions:• Lilla Dale McManis, Ph.D. from Hatch EarlyLearning,• Karen Nemeth, Ed.M. and• Fran Simon, M.Ed. from Early Childhood TechnologyNetwork
  3. 3. Rationale for Study• How technology is used in early childhood educationclassrooms not well understood (Prek-3rd grade)• Current surveys often about home use of technology withyoung children or mix passive with interactivetechnologies• There is a need to hear directly from educators about howthey are using interactive information processingtechnologies with children in the classroom
  4. 4. Surveys to Date• Many current surveys focus on home use– Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America– Digital Childhood: Electronic Media and Technology Use AmongInfants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers• Just a handful included or focused on early childhood– Digitally Inclined– Deepening Connections– Tech in the Lives of Teachers• Those with ECE educators asked questions about passive& interactive technologies simultaneously• Additionally, questions very global-rarely moving beyond“do you have”
  5. 5. Methodology• Online Survey series– Survey I: Teachers & Administrators– Survey II: Teachers• Spring/summer 2012• Open to anyone in the world• Active = “Information Processing” Technologiessuch as Desk/laptops, IWBs, Tablets, Smartphones,Other Handhelds versus• Passive = “Simple” Technologies such as Televisions,CD Players, Digital cameras
  6. 6. Who Responded?• These results are based on the 485 respondents inthe U.S.• There were 116 Administrator respondents• There were 369 Teacher respondents• The demographics are comparable from Survey I andSurvey II were similar and are combined.
  7. 7. Demographics of RespondentsThe main demographics are:• Serve Pre-K (2-5 year olds) and/or School Age (K-3rdgrade)• Public School, Head Start, Childcare, Private School• Urban, Rural, Suburban• Serve more children of poverty (50% or more), Servefewer children of poverty (less than 50%)• New educator (less than 5 yrs), Experienced educator(more than 5 years)• Degreed (4 yr or higher), Non-degreed
  8. 8. About the RespondentsCommunity Type Poverty Children Served
  9. 9. About the RespondentsProgram Type Ages Children Served
  10. 10. About the RespondentsDegreed (4 yr & up) Years Experience
  11. 11. Why ECE Educators Use Technology?Our first area of interest was around the reasons thatearly childhood educators use technology with thechildren in their program classrooms…..
  12. 12. Main Reasons for Using
  13. 13. Most Important Uses
  14. 14. What Technology is Used?Our next area of interest was in knowing which of theactive technologies are being used in the classroomswith early learners….
  15. 15. Types of Technology in Use
  16. 16. What Educators Don’t Havebut Would Like for Children
  17. 17. How Much Time is Tech Used?Next we explored how much time active technologiesare used in the classroom with the children….
  18. 18. How Many Days of the Week
  19. 19. Desk/LaptopsBelieve Appropriate Actually Spend
  20. 20. IWBsBelieve Appropriate Actually Spend
  21. 21. TabletsBelieve Appropriate Actually Spend
  22. 22. Trends• Used regularly but not excessively• Used because children enjoy it & it helps meet goalsof program• More a support than for direct instruction• What’s used follows availability• Differences but not easily discernible pattern betweenbeliefs and practices for amount of time with tech
  23. 23. What is the Focus of Activities?We turned our attention next to the types of learningactivities in which the children engage…
  24. 24. How Often Tech is UsedLanguage/Literacy Mathematics
  25. 25. How Often Tech is UsedScience Social Studies
  26. 26. How Often Tech is UsedLogic/Problem Solving Approaches to Learning
  27. 27. How Often Tech is UsedArt Music
  28. 28. How Often Tech is UsedSocial-Emotional
  29. 29. What is the Setting Like?We wanted to know more about the setting in which theuse of technology by the children takes place such asgroupings and the involvement of the teacher….
  30. 30. How Children are Grouped
  31. 31. How Children are Grouped
  32. 32. How Children are Grouped
  33. 33. Who is Guiding Activities
  34. 34. Who is Guiding Devices
  35. 35. Who is Guiding Devices
  36. 36. Who is Guiding Devices
  37. 37. Trends• Used more for traditional content areas• Rarely used to support social-emotional goals• Groupings (ranging from individual to whole group) varyby device type• Educators “drive” some kinds of tech more than others• But give children lots of opportunities to “drive” too• Do ensure balance between teacher-guided and child-initiated for learning activities themselves
  38. 38. How are Goals Monitored?We queried about how technology is used to determinethe extent children are meeting the learning goals oftheir program….
  39. 39. Determining Learning
  40. 40. How Often in Lesson Plans
  41. 41. For Children Needing Extra Support?We wondered about technology being used withchildren who need extra support such as Dual/EnglishLanguage Learners (DLL/ELL) and children with specialneeds….
  42. 42. DLL/ELL Learners
  43. 43. Tech with DLL/ELL LearnersChosen specifically to meet needsof ELL childrenIn every language spoken in yourgroup now
  44. 44. Special Needs Learners
  45. 45. Special Needs LearnersDevices usedwith specialneeds children
  46. 46. What is the Nature of Content?The survey addressed the content used in earlyeducation classrooms such as sources,obstacles/weaknesses, and money spent….
  47. 47. How Often Sources Used
  48. 48. $ Spent on Websites Per YearProgram Personal
  49. 49. $ Spent on Software Per YearProgram Personal
  50. 50. $ Spent on Apps Per YearProgram Personal
  51. 51. Obstacles/Weakness of Content
  52. 52. Professional Development?We were interested in the professional developmentexperiences of educators on using technology with earlylearners….
  53. 53. Types Professional Development
  54. 54. Comfort Level Using w/ ChildrenDesk/laptops IWBs 1 = not at all, 5 = completely
  55. 55. Comfort Level Using w/ ChildrenTablets 1 = not at all, 5 = completely Multi-touch Tables
  56. 56. Trends• Being used to monitor progress• Tech-learning activities not captured regularly in lessonplans• Seems available but low implementation for DLL/ELLchildren and special needs children• Teachers not spending personal dollars to a greatdegree on content• Educators overwhelmingly using free over paid content;cost main concern• Many different kinds of PD availableand most have received• More comfortable with more established tech
  57. 57. What’s the Bottom Line?We’re going to close with findings that to us sums it allup….
  58. 58. Best Support for Using Tech
  59. 59. Q & ASuggested readings• Simon, F. & Nemeth, K. (2012). Digital Decisions: Choosing the RightTechnology Tools for Early Childhood Education. Lewisville, NC:Gryphon Househttp://www.gryphonhouse.com/store/trans/productDetailForm.asp?BookID=10023• McManis, L.D. & Gunnewig, S. (2012). Finding the education ineducational technology with early learners. Young Children, 67(3), 14-25. http://www.naeyc.org/yc/files/yc/file/201205/McManis_YC0512.pdfAcknowledgement• The Early Childhood Technology Collaborative would like to thank PerryMcManis, M.A. Economics, for statistical analyses of the survey dataEvaluation• Please remember to complete your FETC Evaluation: Session CS2277
  60. 60. Learn More-Stay Connected• LinkedIn: Early Childhood Technology Network• Twitter: #ecetechchat Every Other Weds. @9pm ET• http://www.ecetech.net/• Facebook @ Hatch Early Childhood• ISTE SIG ELT