When I was younger, an hour of screen time meant we all huddled around the one television located in our living room to watch a show that our parents wanted to watch. Nowadays, the “one” television is usually located in every room either by way of a flat screen or other portable device. As a society, we can receive television, internet, and movies on demand by the click of an application or a button. As an educator, I often ask myself how much technology is beneficial and required to engage my students here at Brookridge Day School. Does technology always have to be at my fingertips to thoroughly guide my teaching abilities?
I can remember back to when I started teaching and an overhead projector was my guide to highlight a new idea and to enlighten the students. In fact, I used the overhead projector on review days and comically used a gameshow tune as I turned it on to allow the kids to know I was ready to play.
Now I find myself in a classroom with a flat screen television, laptop computer, an IPOD, and two touch screen computers. However, with all of these technology advancements, there are still surrounding school districts with new grants and public funds to “grab” new and existing students by placing a tablet in the hands of every student. While having access to technology is part of the home, school, and community; how much technology does one child need? Here are some common thoughts when considering technology in the classroom.
- Technology must be used to deepen an understanding and authenticate the curriculum.
- Technology can be learned by children just like anything else, on their own time and pace.
- Professional judgement should be used to ensure the technology content is culturally and linguistically appropriate.
- Modeling the use of technology is necessary to support learning experiences. This doesn’t mean the students have to participate. It can be as simple as showing them how to communicate through the use of an email.
www.naeyc.org (meaningful connections)
*image courtesy of Brad Flickinger / flickr creative commons