What is the Appropriate use of Technology and Interactive Media in Early Childhood Education?

Published: 2021-07-06 23:08:28
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IntroductionThe world is changing so is technology. Modern kids are brought up in a diverse digital environment different from that of their grandparents and parents. Children become exposed to various techniques in their schools and homes. Interactive media includes software computer programs, computer applications, live media, e-books, and the internet. These interactive media facilitate creativity and activeness of children in early pre-school education. Press and technologies when used wisely, support learning and building of social interactions. The technological tools break class monotony leading to exciting and interactive everyday experiences which improve the child’s capability for education.Integrating the principles of development and learning with state of the art technologies and interactive media promotes child’s development and social skills. In this sense, solid developmental foundations form the foundation of the integration of interactive mass media with early childhood education programs. Pre-school educators are conscious of the impending opportunities and challenges of incorporating interactive media and technology in the learning process of children. The educators are required to improve early childhood education programs via grasping of media and technology but with leverages to benefit each child. This research paper explores the appropriate use of blending early childhood education with interactive media and technology.Appropriate Use of Technology and Interactive Media in Early Childhood EducationAvoid Harming the ChildrenProper use of interactive media and technology should not bring harm to the children. The child needs to grow wholly encompassing mental, emotional, social, language and physical development. Thus, using modern tools and interactive media should not interfere and distort the communications systems, social relationships, peer interactions and play activities of the child. Technology needs not to destroy the child’s mental and emotional behavior via exposure to seductive images and violent media. The educators need to monitor and control the usage of media and technology to kids including physical damages. Recent research by (Appel &Gara,2001) suggests the need to follow emerging technology issues such eye health, mobile phone radiations, and electromagnetic fields. Also, lead batteries toxins, screen time, child obesity and other side effects of technology on young children need proper understanding.Building Home- School NetworksThe tools of technology assist teachers in building a stable connection between home and the school where the children spent most of their time. The technology aids proper communication and sharing of information. Thus the educators use the technology to build some stronger connections with children’s parents and facilitate teacher-family engagement. The early childhood teachers use several platforms to communicate to parents about the child’s learning and developmental progress. Moreover, the families and parents of the children use interactive media and technology to seek answers for their questions, consult and share the data concerning their children’s welfare (Kirkorian et al., 2008). Therefore, the parents feel engaged in the learning programs of their children.The novel tools of communication like smartphones, mobile software, and some applications are used by parents who are distant from their children to connect and communicate continuously with the educators and their children. For instance, modern technology allows for conferencing and video calling which the parents use to discuss matters of their children with teachers (Fischer &Gillespie,2003). Besides, video calling helps children to express their emotional feelings of missing their parents. Technology aids child educators to estimate and record the child’s developmental progress, growth an in planning activities. Further, digital collections such photographs, video recordings, and audios are used by educators to conduct one-on-one conferences and social media communications with the parents of the children.Additionally, the teachers display the drawings and photos of a particular play in the classroom or on the blocks of the building to help the parents appreciate the primary importance of games in the childhood education (Plowman & Stephen,2005). Besides, the educators help the children take photos through the use of a digital camera which at last they post on social media. Moreover, it helps the children to understand the benefit of reading and writing thus motivating children to become more keen with their studies so that they can also post their photos on the social media. The use of e-mails, photos and educational-texting assist in building the literacy skills of the children.Support the Goals of the Child and Educators.The interactive media and technology enhance the practice of initial childhood when combined with curriculum, setting and day-to-day routines. Integrating media and technology with initial childhood education plans require the successful practice of digital cameras, computers and mobile application in the routine class procedure (Greenfield,2004). Perfect integration of technology and the general education programs happens when the use of interactive media and technology becomes transparent and repetitive. Therefore, the focus of media integration with education must intensely focus on the activity of the teacher or the child rather than the technology itself.Successful use of interactive media and technology promotes the goals and objectives of the educators as well as the programs for the children. The goals of the educators are to enhance communication, learning and improving the results of the children (Kirkorian et al.,2008). The technology and media need to be used as part of classroom plan to support the educational and developmental goals of the children. For instance, media such as touchscreen mobile and Ipad enhance the experiences of graphic representation of children as they can draw some graphs. However, the use of a particular interactive technology should only aid the children in achieving their goals but not destroying the children.Unbiased Access for Special Needs ChildrenThe appropriate use of interactive media and technology in assisting children’s learning must be readily available and equitably accessible for children with special learning needs. A study by (Greenfield,2004) shows that technology is an essential tool in helping children with learning disabilities. For instance, technology and interactive media tools aid in developing augment sensory as well as reducing distractions. The technology assists and provides support to children with learning disabilities to enhance their mental processing and memory to remember past class lessons. There are diverse assistive and adaptive technologies for children with special needs.Low-tech toys, for instance, have simplified switches while high-tech gadgets are expansive and able to manage complex environments. Wise usage of these technologies helps to empower children, expand their individuality and inclusion in class activities. Therefore, young children with learning disabilities through adapted materials can feel included in the class undertakings which initially they could not participate (Sadao & Robinson,2010). Moreover, assistive technologies help to increase the children’s ability to communicate, learn and become creative. However, the utilization of these technologies in early childhood programs must match with the child’s unique needs, preferences and learning styles.Enhancing Social-Emotional DevelopmentAppropriate use of media and technological tools assists children to increase their mental and social abilities. The children have a chance to extend the learning activities in the early childhood via the use of technological applications. The purpose of screen media in school exposes the children to a variety of settings like animals, geographical landscapes and even the areas where they cannot reach. Digital cameras allow the children to take pictures showing their faces with feelings. They can create photo albums as a way of expressing their different emotions.The technology and interactive media enable the children to document and share their actual experiences via the use of images/pictures captured by the digital cameras, their stories through recordings made and sounds. Therefore, the appropriate use of interactive and technology enhances the development of functional social-emotional behaviors. A survey according to (Appel &Gara,2001) points out that proper use technology facilitates the development of positive emotions in children. Also, it helps the children enhance their linguistic aspects, problem-solving skills as well as the enhancement of self-regulation thus contributing positively to the development of social skills.Balanced Use of Technological Tools and Interactive MediaThe appropriate practice of media and know-how makes the children enjoy games that are further applicable in real life situation. A study by (Fischer &Gillespie,2003).) consider play as a critical part of the child’s development and learning. The media used by the children should be helpful, and that supports creativity exploration and other outdoor undertakings. The interaction between children and technology together with the press expands the communication of children and play materials.The positive use of technology fosters experience to children that enable them to regulate the mediocre and the consequences of the skill, to search the of media implements and know the practice of technology and television in real life. Besides, the educational media offers interactive play and collaborative games involving children and their parents or educators (Appel & Gara,2001). The digital games enhance the development of children through opening their minds into the digital world during the child’s developmental stages. Therefore, children must have opportunities apart from the class learning, to explore the interactive media and technology in the playful and some creative manners.Guidance for Parents and Pre-school EducatorsThe technology and interactive media are crucial in the initial childhood workers, instructors and parents. The pre-school educators and guardians appropriately use technology and interactive media to gain enough knowledge of the materials needed for educating the children. The digital literacy acts as an indispensable tool for guiding parents and early childhood teachers in the utilization, combination, and assessment of technology in the children’s lives. The frequency of technology in the lives of the young kids and their folks expands and increases in many aspects.Since the products used in early childhood education vary widely regarding quality, therefore, educators use technology to efficiently identify the materials that are beneficial but not those that hinder the learning activities of the children. The educators utilize expertise and media to get facts, converse with other teachers and even contribute to the professional growths to advance learning activities (Greenfield,2004). Besides, the educators appropriately use technology to make the children ready for lifetime use of technology. The digital and media use of technology for the educators enables the teachers to gain knowledge and skills to reason out critically concerning the selection, analysis, utilization as well as evaluating the impact of technology and media in initial childhood development.However, the media education for children enables the children to have necessary web-browsing skills, listening and observing the required media about education. Moreover, the children have capabilities to select the messages they receive in interactive media and gain skills of making a wise decision in their lifetime (Plowman & Stephen,2005). The technology is used to support practice and enhancing learning activities. The educators of early childhood who are wise use interactive media and technology as significant tools for elevating the learning activities in the early childhood education. These instructors choose to practice techniques to enhance assessment of children, and as a means of communicating to a parent about the child’s welfare.ConclusionThe wise use of technology and interactive media lead to overall improvement of the child’s learning and developmental process. Early childhood educators have to choose thus the wisely the technology or interactive media tool to use in the classrooms. Interactive media and technology tools are essential but ought not to substitute other traditional learning activities including outdoors and creative plays in pre-school settings. Educators have to strike an equilibrium between activities of the children and incorporate informed and appropriate technology to extend creativity and activeness of the children.ReferencesAppel, A.E., & C. O’Gara. 2001. “Technology and Young Children: A Review of Literature.” TechKnowLogia 3 (5): 35–36.Fischer, M.A., & C.W. Gillespie. 2003. “Computers and Young Children’s Development: One Head Start Classroom’s Experience.” Young Children 58 (4): 85–91.Greenfield, P.M. 2004. “Developmental Considerations for Determining Appropriate Internet Use Guidelines for Children and Adolescents.” Applied Developmental Psychology 25 (2004): 751–62.Kirkorian, H.L., E.A. Wartella, & D.R. Anderson. 2008. “Media and Young Children’s Learning.” The Future of Children 18 (1): 39–61.Plowman, L., & C. Stephen. 2005. “Children, Play, and Computers in Pre-school Education.” British Journal of Educational Technology 36 (2): 145–57.Sadao, K.C., & N.B. Robinson. 2010. Assistive Technology for Young Children: Creating Inclusive Learning Environments. Baltimore, MD: Brookes

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