Building Computer Science Confidence for Teachers
The children of today are exposed to rapidly changing technology and it does not show signs of slowing down. Educators need to prepare children to navigate their world, which includes technology that permeates almost every aspect of daily living. This can present a challenge to early childhood educators for several reasons.
Educators that did not grow up in a digital world sometimes find technology difficult to use and an intimidating subject to teach. Educators who are not confident in their own technological abilities may find it difficult to teach students in this area. The ever-evolving nature of technology also presents an obstacle and helps foster a lack of confidence. Other challenges that can complicate the situation are a lack of access to technology and the cost of purchasing and maintaining hardware and software products. How do we help our educators confidently teach these required skills? First, administrators must commit to supporting the development of these skills for their teachers, including training, access to resources, and ongoing encouragement.
To help teachers who are not confident in their tech skills, developing their knowledge of computer science is essential. There are various ways to do so. Making computer science a part of ongoing professional development is key to developing confident tech teachers. Check out CCEI’s series focused on the topic:
- CUR123: Robotics in Early Childhood: Hands-on and Playful Approaches
- CUR127: Coding in Early Childhood Education
- CUR128: Engineering Explorations in Early Childhood
- CUR133: Unplugged Computer Science in the Early Years (the free trial course for February 2024)
There are many resources online that can also be used to learn more, many of which are included in this newsletter. Having teachers who are more tech-savvy mentor those who lack confidence in their tech skills is a good practice. Using an unplugged approach to teaching tech skills also helps teachers feel more comfortable teaching the subject and also helps alleviate the disparity in access to technology.
The challenges of teaching children tech skills and computer science must be overcome by early childhood educators. We must overcome our own lack of tech competency, fear of technology, lack of confidence in our tech skills, or any other obstacle that may hinder our ability to teach our children in this subject area. This means working together to identify obstacles and create plans to address the areas identified.
The future of our children is digital, and we must prepare them for that world.
For the main article Tech Skills for Children, CLICK HERE
For the article The “Unplugged” Approach to Exploring Computer Science, CLICK HERE
For the article The Benefits of Computational Thinking Skills for Younger Children, CLICK HERE
For the article Can Preschoolers Learn Coding?, CLICK HERE