I’ve been working in the childcare industry for almost 5 years. And although that is not as long as 12 years, as Jane Edwards has worked, I believe that her views align reasonably closely to mine when it comes to ICT within an Early Childhood Setting.
When I first began working in childcare, of course technologies such as the computer, printer and digital camera were used, however for the most part we still used the good old traditional pen and paper to take down observations and do the daily programs. Advancement in technology has seen each room receive an iPad, in order to enhance and extend on children’s learning. We can use the iPad to look up videos on YouTube, listen to music or find pictures to show the children. It is such a handy thing to have when you need to extend on a child’s learning experience straight away!
I read an article by Dr. Bruce Perry which sums this up. And I just love his quote! ‘While Technology can help us teach children, in the end our children learn from us’ How true! It is definitely the role of the parent, and of the teacher to facilitate the child’s learning. An example used was sitting down together with the children and playing cards. This is a cognitive experience, where the children are able to learn to add, to predict, show emotions by laughing and learn how to win. This, in contrast to playing cards on the computer where you either win or lose – the computer does the rest.
I guess in the whole scheme of things, the children at my center do not do a great deal of interaction with digital technologies. And although I am against having an over exposure to technologies, I do believe that children need some form of digital interaction in the early years, in order to assist them in learning, but also to help prepare themselves for Prep, and the rest of their schooling years where digital technologies become more highly relied on.
I believe it’s everything in moderation! Digital technologies are extremely beneficial to educators, and are exciting for children, however ‘while technology can help us to teach children, in the end our children learn from us!’