New Era of Technology in the Classroom Provides More Insight for Students Technology plays a significant role in all aspects of American life today, and this role will only increase in the future. The potential benefits of technology for young children’s learning and development are well documented (Wright & Shade 1994). As technology becomes easier to use and early childhood software proliferates, young children’s use of technology becomes more widespread. Therefore, early childhood educators have a responsibility to critically examine the impact of technology on children and be prepared to use technology to benefit children. Market researchers tracking software trends have identified that the largest software growth recently has been in new titles and companies serving the early childhood educational market. Of the people who own home computers and have young children, 70% have purchased educational software for their children to use (SPA Consumer Market Report 1996). While many new titles are good contributions to the field, an even larger number are not (Haugland & Shade 1994).
Early childhood educators must take responsibility to influence events that are transforming the daily lives of children and families. This statement addresses several issues related to technology’s use with young children: (1) the essential role of the teacher in evaluating appropriate uses of technology; (2) the potential benefits of appropriate use of technology in early childhood programs; (3) the integration of technology into the typical learning environment.
The teacher’s role is critical in making certain that good decisions are made about which technology to use and in supporting children in their use of technology to ensure that potential benefits are achieved. For several decades after the war, we did not perceive the need for a technology policy to complement this science policy. After all, the U.S. economy enjoyed significant spillover dividends from defense R&D...
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