In today's blog, we take a look at "Technology for Early Learners." Our friends over at Hatch — The Early Learning Experts — have put together a great eBook that explores the positives and negatives of technology for younger students. But, what is educational technology? According to Hatch's ebook:Educational technology covers the gamut—from development of hardware and content to its use by kids, to how it’s implemented and ultimately how it’s managed and put into practice each day in the classroom. It includes, but is not limited to, software, hardware, Internet and mobile applications and activities. These tools have proven helpful in advancing early learning and can even be used to measure each child’s progress, which can be connected back to their individual lesson plans ensuring critical skills are being developed appropriately.
Educational technology for our youngest learners is still somewhat contraversial. Parents worry how much exposure is too much. Critics contend that technology in schools wastes time, money, and childhood itself by speeding up the pace and cutting down on essential learning experiences.
My son started using a computer at age 3. At the time, many of my friends and colleagues argued that he was way too young to be exposed to computer use. He's nearly 18 now and I have noticed no adverse affects from his early computer use. In fact, he's more tech-savvy than most adults. Today, it seems perfectly normal to see a one-year old playing games on the iPad or iPhone. Basically, technology for our youngsters is here to stay. That's why it's so important that we make sure they're using the best products available and adhering to the best practices to make the most of their formative years.
The eBook discusses the best choices and best practical applications of hardware, development, and implementation. It's a good read for any parent or teacher concerned about the impact of technology on our children.