Matters to Consider when introducing Technology into Early Childhood Education Introduction
Earlier research was more concerned with weather or not technology; including computers were, in fact, beneficial to children's learning. Current research is concerned with how technology can be used to support children's learning and development (Morrison, 2009). Acronyms like PC, CD, DVD, PDA, DSL, eBay, and .com, are part of our professional vocabulary right alongside ECE… technology has changed the way we teach children (Donohue, 2003). This author takes the position that technology is beneficial to early childhood education. This paper will outline how technology is beneficial to early childhood education through an analysis of contemporary literature. The paper has been set out in sections addressing a different aspect of technology and matters to consider as it effects early childhood education. This paper will begin by defining technology. It will discuss recent trends in technology and the importance of educators and the benefits for children. It will discuss computer technology in the classroom and the use of media in education. It will conclude with a discussion on the effects of television superheros on children's behaviour in an educational setting. This paper will show by presenting different aspects of technology and arguing different perspectives from research; technology is beneficial to early childhood education. Defining Technology in Early Childhood Education
Before a discussion on technology in early childhood education can proceed, there needs to be an understanding of what technology is comprised of. Depending on which author one reads or what the purpose of the research is for, the definition of technology varies to include or exclude varying forms of artefacts. Dockett & Fleer (1999) explain technology to be inclusive of high technology such as television, fax machines and computers as well as replica objects of television characters (p. 150). Dockett & Fleer use a very general definition of technology. Looking critically at this example leads this author to feel the information here is too limited in content. In addition, other 'high technology' items include cell phones, smartphones, PDA's, personal computers, the internet, e-mail, and digital cameras (Donohue, 2003), and electronic teaching materials such as SmartBoards (Flynn et, al., 2010). Donohue (2003) and Flynn et, al. (2010) explain that we routinely use these tools in our classrooms, as well as the home and work. Both Dockett & Fleer (1999), and Donohue (2003) use the term 'high technology'. The purpose here is that there are other categories which can be viewed as artefacts of technology such as blocks, sandpit toys, play group equipment or infant toys (Dockett & Fleer, 1999). While this author acknowledges the listed 'low tech' items as developments of technology, this paper will not be discussing such items. Technology as listed above (Dockett & Fleer 1999; Donohue 2003) lists items which could be considered as hardware. But technology is not limited to hardware alone. Other forms of technology which this paper holds interest include media. Weddell (2001, p.4) describes media as being"…all forms of broadcasts, advertising, television, computer games, film, video, interactive online media (email, internet), recorded music, print material (newspapers, magazines, cards, stickers), toys and merchandising associated with media-related products". This paper will refer to technology as including both technical hardware and digital media. Technological Trends in Early Childhood Education
In this section, the author will address matters that need to be considered about trends in early childhood education. While differing views are presented, the favoured position is overwhelmingly for the inclusion of technology into the early childhood curriculum as shown in the research. The question of technology in the early childhood...
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