EDEC4001 ESSAY Edited

Submitted By bonnier123
Words: 1829
Pages: 8

Early Childhood and Technology

The family seems to be the most effective and economical system for fostering and sustaining the child’s development. Without family involvement, intervention is likely to be unsuccessful, and what few effects are achieved are likely to disappear once the intervention is discontinued (Bronfenbrenner, 1974). In the following essay I will talk about what evidence says about the importance of family- school connectedness/partnerships, how technologies and digital activities can be used to engage with families in early childhood settings and then describe how my innovative technology tool is useful for enhancing collaboration and communication with families. The role of spontaneous play in young children’s development has been widely described in early childhood literature ( Vygotsky, 2004). Modern and classical theories of play have identified many ways in which children’s traditional play in a Western society may advance their cognitive and socio-emotional development (Verenikina, Harris, & Lysaght, 2003). In pretend play, children acquire the foundations of self reflection and abstract thinking, develop complex communication and meta-communication skills, learn to manage their emotions and explore the roles and rules of functioning in adult society. From a cultural-historical point of view (Fleer, 2010), make believe play constitutes the basis for the child’s awareness of the world and raises their cognition of reality to a more complex and generalized level (Vygotsky, 1967). Even though the early childhood curriculum is traditionally based in play (Van Hoorn, et al, 2003), the majority of studies are focused on the use of computers to enhance learning in a particular curriculum area. A recent study of 4-5 year old preschoolers demonstrated that educational games are used more frequently (79.54%) than recreational (59.90%) (Zevenbergen & Logan, 2008, p.41). Thus, the developmental value of computer games is still undervalued and not fully understood. Studies highlight the opportunities for language use and social interaction that technology offers, along with increased motivation. Computers also make possible experiences and representations that cannot take place in the real world, providing new experiences and improved understanding (Davis, & Shade, 1999). In the Early Years Learning Framework, Outcome 5 states that children are effective communicators:
Outcome 5.6 ‘Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking ‘. P.44 With technology becoming more prevalent as a means of sharing information and communicating with one another, early childhood educators have an opportunity to build stronger relationships with parents and enhance family engagement. Early childhood educators always have had a responsibility to support parents and families by sharing knowledge about child development and learning. Technology tools offer new opportunities for educators to build relationships, maintain ongoing communication, and exchange information and share online resources with parents and families (Edutopia, 2011). Likewise, parents and families can use technology to ask questions, seek advice, share information about their child, and feel more engaged in the program and their child’s experiences there. Technology tools such as smartphones, mobile devices, and apps offer new and more affordable ways for busy family members to communicate, connect to the Internet, and access information and social media tools to stay in touch with their families and their child’s teachers and caregivers. Internet-based communication tools offer new opportunities for video calling and conferencing when face-to-face meetings are not possible; these same technology tools can connect children to other family members who live at a distance. As they do for young children, educators have