Technology in the Preschool Classroom
Young children are born learners. They love to explore and soak in new experiences. Preschool teachers can use technology to enhance children'snatural curiosity. Not sure how to make this happen? Look at what technology in the preschool classroom looks like.
What is Technology?
When we talk about technology in education, we mean the use of tools or machines in classrooms. Think computers, tablets, and printers. In a preschool classroom, technology can take many forms. What does technology look like in a preschool classroom? Let's take a tour of Ms. Smith's classroom and see what she has going on.
Technology to Support Young Learners
The early years are all about figuring things out. Children are developing as learners as they investigate their world, and they're naturally curious about everything and explore how things work at every turn. Ms. Smith knows her students need technology, as they provide a way for her students to grow as investigative learners. As such, she uses technology to support learning, not merely as a teaching tool.
What types of technology does she have in her classroom? Look at some common types of preschool technology:
Ms. Smith's classroom has several different types of computers, electronic devices used to store and process data. Several desktop and laptop computers are available for the children to use for exploring programs related to science, language, and math. The students also have access to tablets, computer-like devices that responds to on-screen interaction instead of a mouse.
Tablets aid in introducing preschoolers to subjects like science and language.
Young children enjoy listening to songs, books, poems, and stories. When a teacher isn't available to read with a student, they can listen on a digital player, like a compact disk player or electronic device such as an iPod. The children can listen as a group or wear headphones for private listening.
Ms. Smith takes many opportunities to record her students in action. She uses digital cameras and videos of the children creating structures in the block area or putting on a play. Students also have access to these devices for making their own memories of events. Ms. Smith encourages the children to tap into their creativity when taking pictures and videos by making digital books and stories with their work.
Instructional Technology in Preschool
Ms. Smith is a well-informed teacher. She uses technology to help her plan lessons, instruct and record student progress. How does she do this? Her tool bag includes:
Many times, when showing her young students, a book or leaf, Ms. Smith hears 'I can't see!' Using a document camera helps solve this problem in a snap. A document camera is basically a digital overhead projector. An object can be placed in front of the camera and the image is enlarged and shown on a screen. Ms. Smith uses her document camera to show her whole class what the inside of a leaf looks like, or to read a story aloud so all students can clearly see print and pictures.
Even parents of preschool children want to know how their children are progressing. Ms. Smith records and collects data about her students - things like number sense or reading readiness indicators - and keeps them in a digital program meant for processing this information. This data processor helps her organize information and make it presentable to parents.
Ms. Nora Sierra
EC Assistant Principal