Thursday, June 20, 2013
There is no doubt that technology has a huge place in the future of early education in the classroom. Small children are already being heavily exposed to technology of various kinds in the home through their use of video game systems, smart phones, and tablets that their parents use on a daily basis. Small children virtually expect that information will be coming from the same types of sources when they are in the classroom. Additionally, there is a huge push from administrative sources to get this kind of equipment in the classroom, despite the reservations of many teachers currently in the system. The research also backs up the benefits of incorporating technology more fully in the classroom. Students have been shown to increase their abilities in arenas such as hand-eye coordination, and there is a measurable increase in their enthusiasm for learning as well.
These large, digital chalk boards are being placed in classrooms throughout the nation at a monumental pace. They provide teachers with the ability to create a curriculum that is more dynamic and easier to update as the content being taught to children relentlessly marches forward. The amount of interaction that these boards accommodate make it easier to get kids to participate in the lessons being taught in the classroom. As more students become engaged and interact with the material, it becomes easier for teachers to hold the attention of the students. It has also become obvious that this kind of technology refines the visual discrimination that children are developing at this early age.
When running the appropriate applications, students in early childhood education programs are completely fascinated by these devices. Tablets take many of the advantages offered by smart boards and put them at the desk of the student. Children above the age of three have quickly adapted to the technology, and it is considered developmentally appropriate for this age group. Tablets also offer schools the advantage of ordering digital textbooks. The costs are lower, and the savings in the amount of paper being used to produce textbooks are extraordinary.
Not all schools have the resources to incorporate smart boards or provide tablets to each and every student. However, the majority do have the ability to provide every student with access to desktop units at some point in their education. These computers are typically used to conduct testing or to reinforce content using games and interactive programs that engage the students in ways that a teacher may be unable to provide. Exposing students to the process of using computers in general also creates a foundation for the skills that will be necessary in doing research and exploring the new possibilities that lay ahead in the classrooms of the future.
Digital Microscopes and Document Cameras
Again, some teachers may not be ready to jump into the digital pool head first, nor do all schools have the appropriate resources. In many cases, teachers in these positions are using small amounts of technology that are geared towards individual lessons or using technology that is still heavily dependent on the human touch. Digital microscopes are common in science lessons, and document cameras are simply one step up from the old bulb projectors. Document cameras are typical for math and English lessons in which math problems and simple English sentences are composed by the teacher by hand.
These more advanced versions of the early smart boards increase the ability of the teacher to design interactive lessons for the students. Each system can come equipped with the ability to respond to hand-held devices that are distributed to each student in the classroom. Using the remotes, the students are able to make decisions regarding stories and surveys that they see on the board without ever leaving their seats.
Kindergarten teacher Mary Walters loves teaching and watching her students eyes light up when learning with some of the newer technologies. Mary has also contributed to finding the top online early childhood educationmaster's degree programs, a great way for people to use technology to get the degree they want in education.