As the world changes, technology is becoming a bigger part of kids' lives. Using a range of technology in the class and childcare environments can be a productive way to introduce technology to children in a way that supports learning. Interactivity is a vital component in ensuring technology truly enhances the educational perspective. Here are some ways technology can be used in early learning settings.
Interactive smart boards
Many of the smart boards on the market support children colouring in scenes which children can colour in by tapping sections. Some programs also allow children to control flows by drawing barriers to direct 'rain water' or other flows.
This can be a fun way for children to collaborate as a group, and learn about touch screens. Touch screens can allow students to play matching games and work as a group to identify letters and sounds that associated with different animals, for example.
Film clips from online sites can be a great way to get children some expert instruction in specific areas. A film clip showing yoga instruction for small children for example can be a great way to get the children to try different and age appropriate yoga moves.
Children can also benefit from seeing clips of children playing games and interacting with their family from other countries and cultures. The interactivity comes when children use these clips to copy moves, or integrate aspects into their creative play.
Sing-along and act-along sites can be a great way to let children learn how to do certain manoeuvres such as tying shoelaces, or singing tricky songs such as the national anthem. The ability to record and replay can be refreshing for educators who might struggle with certain items—such as educators with a heavy accent, struggling to sing the national anthem and enunciating tricky sounds such as 'girt'.
Education apps abound, helping children to start identifying numbers, and letters from the earliest ages. The best apps don't just mimic matching card games and flash cards, but building on the experience by incorporating sounds and movements to make the process more interesting, as well as letting different children in the class work at different levels. The sounds can also be useful to help children learning pronunciation, in both their native language and second languages.
Interactive apps both enhance learning and can help children learning fine motor skills and problem solving skills.
Using technology in early childhood environments helps children to develop solid digital literacy, and to use technology in a meaningful and interactive manner. Learn more about your options by consulting resources like Keep Learning Education.