While familiarity with technology is important in today’s world, and access to technology is an equity issue, early learning primarily occurs through interactions with other materials, people, events, and ideas
Using technology is an interesting end in itself (discovering how it works), as well as a means to an end (extending role play, solving problems).
Software should encourage creativity, problem solving, and refl ection.
It should allow children to use equipment and programs together, share observations and discoveries, and assist one another.
If concerns about equipment costs or damages are overriding, it will restrict children’s use of the technology and limit the potential benefits.
If the website or app really work for their age.. and times that we need to check whether they are still applicable… maybe its already too easy for the kids or too difficult. Again it needs to be evaluated from time to time
Let us remember that the use of media and technology with young children offers many opportunities for learning, but we must make wise choices. Even as we discover different types of interactive media, we should not forget the enduring truth that young children learn best through direct interaction with people, for this shape themselves, in a much greater sense. Technology is just technology, it is just one, but only one, piece of the early childhood curriculum. Use it with balance and with creativity.
Role of Media in Early Childhood Education
Today’s children are
growing up in a rapidly
changing digital age that
is far different from that
of their parents and
• Cd player
• Camera film
Do our kids know these?
How will we be able to
help them in what
A variety of technologies are all
around us in our homes, offices, and
When used wisely, technology and
media can support learning and
What does media bring to our pupils?
Enjoyable and engaging shared
experiences that optimize the
potential for children’s learning and
development can support children’s
relationships both with adults and
Thanks to a rich body of research, we
know much about how young children
grow, learn, play, and develop. There
has never been a more important time
to apply principles of development and
learning when considering the use of
cutting-edge technologies and new
When the integration of technology and
interactive media in early childhood
programs is built upon solid
developmental foundations, and teachers
are aware of both the challenges and the
opportunities, educators are positioned to
improve program quality by intentionally
leveraging the potential of technology and
media for the benefit of every child.
Refers to digital and analog materials, including soft- ware programs,
applications, broadcast and streaming media, some children’s
television programming, e-books, the Internet,
and other forms of content
designed to facilitate active and
creative use by young children and
to encourage social engagement
with other children and adults.
The Interactive Media reflects the ever-
changing digital age and provides guidance
for early childhood educators
about the use of technology and interactive media in
ways that can optimize opportunities for young
children’s cognitive, social,
emotional, physical, and linguistic
The shift to new media literacies
and the need for digital literacy that
encompasses both technology and
media literacy will continue to
shape the world in which young
children are developing and
learning (Flewitt 2011).
Issues of Media in Early Childhood Education
•Young children live in a world of interactive
media. They are growing up at ease with
digital devices that are rapidly becoming the
tools of the culture at home, at school, at
work, and in the community and interactive
media are here to stay. (Lauricella, & Wartella 2011)
•The prevalence of electronic media in the
lives of young children means that they
are spending an increasing number of
hours per week in front of and engaged
with screens of all kinds, including
televisions, computers, smartphones,
tablets, handheld game devices, and game
consoles (Common Sense Media 2011).
their access to
•Health (irregular sleep patterns, obesity)
•behavioral issues (laziness, passiveness)
•focus and attention problems
•decreased academic performance
•negative impact on socialization and
•increase in the amount of time young
children are spending in front of screens
(Brooks-Gunn & Donahue 2008)
The impact of technology is
mediated by teachers’ use of the
same developmentally appropriate
principles and practices that guide
the use of print materials and all
other learning tools and content for
(Van Scoter, Ellis, & Railsback 2001; Clements & Sarama 2003a; Plowman & Stephen 2005, 2007).
Technology, when appropriately
designed for young children and
used with the guidance of
supportive adults, can promote
early learning and development.
To use technology as one of many
effective teaching tools, apply the
following principles and ideas:
the classroom is
a choice, not a
2. Technology is one of
many tools that young
children can use to carry
out their play ideas,
acquire knowledge and
skills, and solve problems.
3. Technology should be used in moderation to
supplement, not replace, hands-on learning with
real materials that provide a full range of physical,
sensory, intellectual, and social experiences.
4. Technology should be
interactive and open-
ended, and it should
learning, not emphasize
drill and practice.
5. Technology should serve as a catalyst
for social interaction.
6. Adults should act as partners when children choose
to use technology, just as they partner and interact
with children during other types of play.
7. Choose hardware and apps that
are safe and sturdy enough for
children to use independently.
8. Because new technologies
are being developed all the
time, their appropriateness
for young children’s physical,
cognitive, and social
development must be
evaluated on an ongoing
Technology is just technology!
• Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Chidren’s Media Saint Vincent
College 300 Fraser Purchase Road Latrobe, PA 15650-2690
• Guernsey, L. (2012). Screen time: How electronic media – from baby videos
to educational software – affects your young child. New York, NY: Basic
• National Association for the Education of Young Children 1313 L Street,
NW, Suite 500 Washington, DC 20005-4101
• Schmidt, M. E., Pempek, T. A., Kirkorian, H. L., Lund, A. F., & Anderson, D. R.
(2008). The effects of background television on the toy play behavior of
very young children.
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