There are many competing views and approaches toward learning with technology, especially in early childhood. We spoke with Ms. Gina Allen from White Rock Child Development Center about her use of technology in their pre-K classroom.
Ms. Gina introduces technology in the classroom to families at the beginning of the school year. Parents tour the classroom and can see all of the activities, materials, and resources their students will use throughout the year. She gives descriptions for each center and how their child will learn and develop from the activity, including the technology centers.
She uses various types of technology in her classroom, not just computers. She said, “typically, when someone mentions technology, one may automatically think, ‘computer,’ however, there are other materials in a pre-K classroom that could be considered technology. […]"
"We have a smartboard, two computers, […] and two iPads available for the children to complete educational activities on.” However, Ms. Gina also included more traditional pieces of technology, such as, music players, scales, rulers, scissors, glue, and tape measurers. Discussions about technology today are often only inclusive of electronic-based technology, but adopting a broader definition of technology may be helpful when planning for technology use in the classroom and speaking about it with families. When used intentionally and thoughtfully, computers and iPads can offer unique learning experiences.
Ms. Gina said she does not hesitate to incorporate technology into her classroom because “with proper planning, a teacher can successfully incorporate various types of technology that will enhance students’ learning.” When speaking with parents at the beginning of the year, at curriculum night, or in individual conversations with families, she shares with them how she uses the technology in ways that are “carefully planned and created based on the students’ goals.” She has seen her students “blossom” in their physical, social, and academic development with the use of technology in the classroom, for example, increased coordination, letter and number identification, attention span, and social skills.
Thank you, Ms. Gina, for sharing with us how you approach technology use in your classroom. We loved learning from you!