Eastern Connecticut State University
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#2: Introducing Technology to Young Children

Featuring Dr. Douglas Clements and Dr. Sudha Swaminathan

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Computers have become quite common in preschool classrooms, but early childhood professionals don’t always know how to take advantage of computers as teaching tools. In e-clip #2, Dr. Douglas Clements from the University at Buffalo explains that when teachers carefully select and introduce children to appropriate software, computers can help young children not only learn new skills, but also make the connection between concrete concepts and more abstract ideas. Dr. Sudha Swaminathan from Eastern Connecticut State University stresses the important role of the teacher in supporting learning using technology, and provides tips for teachers for the successful integration of computers in the classroom curriculum.

Discussion Questions for Early Childhood Teachers and Administrators

  1. In what ways have the computers and other technologies in our classrooms served to enhance or expand children’s learning?
  2. What is the role of the teacher in supporting children’s learning on the computer?
  3. What strategies do we use to ensure that the computer or other technologies are integrated into our overall learning objectives for the class?
  4. How do we ensure that the activities that children conduct with technology are meaningful?
  5. What sort of training have we received on using technology as teaching tools?  What additional training might we need?

Recommended Reading

  • Bers, M. V., New, R. S., & Boudreau, L. (2004). Teaching and learning: When no one is expert: Children and parents explore technology. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 6(2).
  • Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2002). The role of technology in early childhood learning. Teaching Children Mathematics, 8(6), 340-343.
  • Ferguson, D. (2001). Technology in a constructivist classroom. In D. D. Shade (Ed.), Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual (pp. 45-56).
  • Fischer, M. A., & Gillespie, C. W. (2003). Computers and young children's development: One head start classroom's experience. Young Children, 58(4), 85-91.
  • Mitchell, L. M. (2007). Using Technology in Reggio Emilia-Inspired Programs. Theory Into Practice, 46(1), 32-39.
  • Parton, B. S., & Hancock, R. (2008). When Physical and Digital Worlds Collide: A Tool for Early Childhood Learners. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning, 52(5), 22-25.
  • Freeman, N. K., & Somerindyke, J. (2001). Social play at the computer: Preschoolers scaffold and support peers' computer competence. In D. D. Shade (Ed.), Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual (pp. 203-213).
  • Kelly, K. L., & Schorger, J. R. (2001). "Let's play 'puters": Expressive language use at the computer center. In D. D. Shade (Ed.), Information Technology in Childhood Education Annual. Charlottesville, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education.
  • Wright, C. (2001). Children and technology: Issues, challenges and opportunities. Childhood Education, 37-41.

Additional Web Resources on Young Children and Technology

Credits for Introducing Technology to Young Children

Executive Producer: Julia DeLapp

Producer/Director: Denise Matthews

Production Coordinator: Ken Measimer

Student Production Assistant: Kerin Jaros-Dressler


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