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In This Issue
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Technology and Interactive Media in the Classroom

 
Technology and interactive media are everywhere in today's society. Young children live in a world where computers, tablets, smartphones, music players, gaming devices, and more are readily available, including in their classrooms. The use of computers and other interactive technologies is on the rise in early childhood programs. As we become an ever increasingly technological society, it's important to consider the effects of technology on early childhood development.

There are potential developmental and educational benefits with many forms of interactive media. These benefits include physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. Interactive media is steadily becoming a fixture in American classrooms, and it is not hard to imagine that the future of preK-12 classrooms will include laptops, e-readers, tablets, smartboards, and other devices as primary curriculum tools. The question shouldn't be if we should use technology in the classroom, but rather how we should use technology in the classroom. When used effectively, technology can assist and aid the learning and teaching styles of childcare professionals and young children. Technology gives young children the opportunity to be actively involved in their learning experience and discover the world around them at their own pace.

Of course, childcare providers should not turn to interactive media or other technologies entirely simply because they seem easier or more fun compared to other learning tools and activities. Technology should be used in conjunction with traditional learning activities to expand, enrich, and extend the overall curriculum. For example, a child can learn multiplication tables using flash cards, or she can learn using educational software or an online game. One isn't necessarily better than the other, but perhaps using both options will help to further stimulate the child's thinking, while taking advantage of all resources available.

Technology and media are tools that are effective only when used appropriately. While technology offers numerous benefits and expansive educational tools, it's important not to ignore other key areas of development that simply can't be met through the use of a computer or tablet. Physical play, outdoor exploration, art, music, and dance are key to the development of social skills and moral values within young children. Furthermore, computers should always be monitored and equipped with developmentally appropriate software.

Technology continues to be a part of most early childhood programs and schools. It's important to make sure the ever changing landscape of technology and interactive media is used effectively and safely when it comes to young children. We must ensure that childcare providers are fully trained and supported, and that programs and internet sites are developmentally appropriate. The use of computers, tablets, smartphones, and other electronic devices in early childhood education has grown each year, and the ways in which they apply to early care programs has expanded dramatically. The trend will continue for the foreseeable future, and child care providers must continue to evolve and adapt with the changing times.

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Technology and Interactive Media
Article Courtesy of naeyc.org
 
Television was once the newest technology in our homes, and then came videos and computers. Today's children are growing up in a rapidly changing digital age that is far different from that of their parents and grandparents. A variety of technologies are all around us in our homes, offices, and schools. When used wisely, technology and media can support learning and relationships. View Article 
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  Using Technology in Early Childhood       
                 Article Courtesy of scholastic.com
 
Are young children's brains (ages three through six) well suited to the use of technology? (We define technology as children using cameras, computers, tape recorders and video cameras in classroom projects.) If so, how? Are some forms of technology better than others for these specific age levels? View Article  
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This Month's Trial Course: The Child's Digital Universe   
 
CCEI offers CHD103: The Child's Digital Universe: Technology and Digital Media in Early Childhood as an online no-cost trial child care training course to new CCEI users during the month of January.

This course presents the latest research and recommendations regarding children's use of technology and digital media, and the ways in which digital devices are reshaping childhood and early childhood education. Participants will learn about children's media usage and the latest research on the effects of digital media on early childhood development.
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Technology in School-Age Programs   
 
Technology has the power to motivate and further student's learning within a school-age program. The key is developing an effective learning environment in which technology and interactive media can best serve the needs of students in a school-age program. Providing students with a learning environment that varies from a traditional classroom can spark further growth and development.

Young students are typically familiar with technology in the first place, and learning with technology is more engaging than traditional practices for them. Technology and interactive media can help bring real-world news and information directly into the program, and allow students to interact on a grander scale. 
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