Many of us use our smartphones and computers on a daily basis, which is why knowing how to properly use technology is an important skill in today’s digital age. Getting familiar with technology is now an important part of any education, and that education often starts right at the preschool level. It’s one of the reasons why many of today’s preschools keep tablets and other digital devices on hand, and why your career as an early childhood educator will likely involve introducing kids to new technology.
How can you help kids get tech savvy? If you’re on your way to becoming an early childcare assistant, read on to discover why technology is an important component of early childhood care and how early childcare assistants can effectively introduce kids to technology.
The Technology Debate in Early Childcare Training
It’s no secret that there has been much debate over whether or not technology is playing a positive or negative role in children’s development. Often parents and researchers agree that technology can be extremely beneficial, but only in moderation. The utilization of technology is an important part of any kid’s development, but too much technology time can sometimes encourage kids to develop over-use habits that will likely continue on much later in life. That’s why as an early childhood assistant you’ll have a big responsibility in making sure that the children under your care learn to use new technology without developing bad habits.
1. Early Childcare Assistants Learn When to Introduce Kids to Tech
In early childcare training you will learn that age plays an extremely important part in measuring when and why certain learning activities should be introduced to children. For instance, many experts recommend waiting until the children you’re caring for are in preschool, or over two years of age, before introducing technology into their activities. The reason for this is that children two and under often learn best through experience and using their senses. Once children turn three, educational multimedia content can begin to be incorporated into their routine.
2. Early Childcare Training Teaches Students to Monitor Use of Tablets and Other Devices
As you’ll soon learn during your studies, it’s important to carefully monitor children’s learning activities, especially when they use new technology. Make sure to keep screens and devices in a communal area in order to help monitor the usage of these devices and ensure that children receive balanced exposure. As an early childcare assistant, maintain a close proximity to children who are using tablets or computers in order to point out some aspects of the educational program that they may have missed, or answer questions that children may have.
3. An Early Childcare Assistant Knows That Content Matters
As you introduce the children under your care to new technology, you’ll also want to make sure that the content they come across online is age appropriate and educational. The first thing you’ll want to do is set up controls on all devices so that kids can only access age-appropriate content. In addition, you’ll also want to make sure that kids visit educationally focused websites instead of just entertainment based ones.
With numerous games and activities available for smart phones and tablets, there’s no shortage of educational material out there suitable for all early childhood ages. Games like AlphaTots Alphabet, for example, use fun elements like spaceships and robots to make learning the alphabet more enjoyable for kids.
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