Gone are the days when school simply meant reading, writing, and arithmetic. Early Childhood Education teachers are now tasked with ensuring students are familiar with constantly changing technology. To give students a head start, technology can be introduced as early as preschool. Not only does this familiarize preschoolers with technological terms and devices, it provides them with additional learning mediums.
Here are some tips on how to integrate technology into your preschool classroom:
iPads & Tablets
Most kids will come to preschool already quite familiar with how to use a tablet or at least a smartphone. You can use that knowledge to expand their learning. There is obviously a multitude of education and learning apps.
Pick your favorites and load your iPads up with them. Allow the children to use the apps as they touch and explore the basic operation of the device. You don’t need to limit your students to game-based learning either.
You can use the tablets to read digital picture books. You can create your own photo displays that correlate with current learning topics. You can also use tablets as art supplies for endless mess-free drawing that can be saved and/or emailed to parents.
Desktop & Laptop Computers
While integrating technology into your early childhood teaching, it's important to diversify the technology so your students become digitally literate. Along with tablets, expose them to laptops and traditional desktop computers. Give them opportunities to explore these devices.
This is the perfect age for hands-on learning. Provide opportunities for them to use a traditional keyboard and mouse. You can also incorporate a spelling lesson as they type simple words into a search engine.
Blackboards and dusty, white chalk are a thing of the past. Most schools have moved to whiteboards. And now whiteboards are evolving, too, becoming smart boards. Interactive smartboards let teachers and students manipulate items on a large screen by touch. Not only can teachers use the smartboard for lessons, but they can easily incorporate videos and pictures due to internet connectivity.
The possibilities are endless for early education teachers and students alike. You might consider using the interactive smartboard as part of a morning routine. You can have students check themselves into class for attendance tracking or drag and drop their selection for lunch. This not only reinforces technology skills but teaches them responsibility too.
Digital storytelling is a way for preschoolers to tap into technology along with their imaginations. It incorporates images and allows students to manipulate them into a story. There are several ways to do this.
Kids can create their own artwork, or choose from a series of digital pictures and video. You can also attach audio files with the child narrating their own digital storybook. Digital storytelling is sure to keep kids engaged, along with encouraging creativity and higher-level thinking.
Integrating technology into your preschool teaching methodology is sure to enhance learning and increase student engagement, along with teaching the technical skills students will need to succeed as they advance through school.
If the idea of introducing young ones to technology excites you, you may want to consider a career in early childhood education. Athena Career Academy can help make that happen. Call Athena today at 419.329.4075 and we will explain how you can go from learning in a classroom to taking the seat as a teacher.