These days, technology surrounds children every day. From television programs to smartphones, technology is a significant part of most young people's lives. While technology itself is not inherently negative, HighScope wrote that it is the sheer amount of consumed media and technology that matters.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 18 months should avoid using electronic screens or watching videos. For children ages 2 to 5 years, the AAP suggests limiting screen time to one hour a day of high-quality programming, such as educational videos or games. With these thoughts in mind, how do you as an early childhood educator integrate meaningful technology into your classroom? Here are a couple of ideas:
Use technology to create interactive learning experiences
Technology should be a tool you use to enhance your lessons, not in place of them. For example, if you plan to talk about the different kinds of shapes, start with a fun, educational video to introduce the topic. Then, teach your lesson, incorporating activities that get your students moving out of their chairs. Finally, reinforce your lesson by having them log on to an interactive application or program to practice what they learned.
Use technology to teach safe online practices
With the rise in cyberbullying and online predators, it's wise to use technology to teach your students about being safe on the internet. As you introduce them to new programs, websites, or apps, take time to go over various safety rules and lessons. Turn these rules, such as "don't speak with strangers online" into fun rhymes or songs. This way, they can know how to be safe online, whether they are in your classroom or at home.
ProSolutions Training offers many online child care courses, such as "Using Technology as a Teaching Tool: Do This – Not That." Contact us today to learn more about our extensive course catalog.