Deborah J. Stewart’s blog is about incorporating technology in early childhood classrooms, this article was interesting and inspiring for me to read. As an early childhood educator (ECE), my personal pedagogy in the classroom does not involve technology to play a role towards a learning style for children. Prior to reading this article, I believed that some educators are relying on technology to do their job, and technology cannot do what an educator can do. Prior to Stewart’s own observations she felt that technology shouldn’t be used has a teaching strategy in early childhood classrooms. Stewart witnessed young children using IPads, and started evaluating its effectiveness. Stewart noticed that children were engaged when working on the IPad as they read a story with an adult, and then went on another application (app) to explore colours, shapes, letters, and more.
Stewart’s article connects with technology and learning, because reading stories and exploring colours, shapes, and letters, are also part of a early childhood education curriculum and educators are there to scaffold a child’s imagination and critical thinking. IPads and other tablets do the same; they present apps in which children can explore different educational materials and virtual materials that relate to their real lives, as an educator can be present to assist. This involves the child to think and imagine, as they would in an classroom without technology. When using apps children are also able to relate images such as letters, words, and numbers to real life and practice them by writing them or recognizing them around their environments.
This article is important in an ECE profession, because in this day and age technology is everywhere, almost every house hold has some sort of technology so it is important as educators to incorporate different mediums of technology for children to better adapt to knowledge that an educator presents. As an educator I know that all children learn differently, some children learn as they follow the teacher, some learn as they follow their peers (other children), some follow their favourite tv show characters, some follow their parents, children are constantly amused by objects that engage their imagination and thinking at their cognitive level. IPads can engage children that may not want to follow as a teacher, care giver, or a parent gives instructions. As a child can control an object and get it to do what he or she wants it do, as he or she can learn about stories, colours, shapes, and more, children will only be using the technology to their own advantage.
Stewart has inspired me to connect technology in my pedagogy. I believe, technology cannot provide children with other necessities of education such as, hands on opportunities, outdoor play and exploration, using all five senses to learn (touch, smell, taste, hear, and see), social norms, social interactions, and other developmental milestones. However, that does not mean technology in learning is not valuable, children have many educational softwares available to them to explore and require critical thinking to solve problems. Many technologies allow children to go through trial and error, to let them make mistakes and helps them solve or fix it as they explore. Teachers can still be the educators as they scaffold children’s interactions with technologies. Now, I am looking into incorporating technology in my preschool classroom, I am going to start off slow; bring in a tablet and do circle time, which is part of our everyday routine to start off the day. I usually do circle time on a white board where I tell the preschoolers; the date, the weather, any teachers or children absent, and new materials that will be out to play with, what we will have for lunch, and any other things that they will need to know. So I’m going to try to do this on a table (this idea is also inspired by Stewart).
This video that I found can relate to those educators, care givers, guardians, and parents who think that technology is taking over, or have a dilemma and don’t know how technology can play a role in education.