The exposure to various online tools that are useful in education managed to change my mindset about introducing technology to toddlers. Before starting this assignment, I was sceptical about the thought of toddlers interacting with technology, since they may not be as “digitally expectant” (Howell, 2013, p.6) as children in their adolescence. However, I realised that my view after researching for the assignment. In accordance with the result obtained by a study from Stirling University that was mentioned by Roxby, I discovered that toddlers are already introduced to technology at home, and would have obtain experience in using technology before entering the classroom (Roxby, 2013). Further emphasis was placed on the benefits of allowing toddlers to engage with technology, where a research from the University of Wisconsin concluded that
“Kids who are interacting with the screen get better much faster, make fewer mistakes and learn faster” (Kirkorian, cited by Roxby, 2013).
After comprehending the reason for toddlers to be exposed to the digital world, I gradually manage to see the significance of familiarising myself with the digital tools that are essential for me in future, as an early childhood teacher.
One important concept learnt through the process of this assignment is the immense impact that technology brings when integrated into the class curriculum. The introduction of auditory and visual tools, like Voki and Videoscribe, can cater to the different learning styles that children have, saving a significant amount of time set aside by teachers to satisfy similar needs of the children. Furthermore, it alters the accustomed view of a teacher being in front of the classroom and “in control of the classroom” (Tavakoli, 2012). The introduction of technology not only encourages “collaboration” between the teacher and children, but also amongst children themselves. Noting that technology should not replace any methods of teaching completely, and that with the appropriate use of it, both teachers and students can benefit tremendously through their transformation into competent individuals in the technology.
This picture gives a good explanation about the components of a 21st Century classroom.
Funderstanding.com. (n.d.). Kids and Computers [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.funderstanding.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Kids-and-Computers2.jpg
Guymon, D. (2014). Family with Tablet [Image]. Retrieved from http://www.gettingsmart.com/2014/01/life-beyond-screen-striking-tech-life-balance/
Howell, J. (2013). Teaching with ICT: Digital pedagogies for collaboration and creativity. Victoria: Oxford University Press.
Roxby, P. (2012). Does technology hinder or help toddlers’ learning? Retrieved from http://www.bbc.com/news/health-22219881
Sutton, B.B. (2012). Components of the 21st Century Classroom [Image]. Retrieved from https://thepowerofus.org/2012/12/17/transformational-learnng-ideas/
Tavakoli, K. (2012, December 27). How Technology Encourages Teacher Collaboration Around Individual Students. [Web log post]. Retrieved from https://www.edelements.com/how-technology-encourages-teacher-collaboration-around-individual-students