Technology isn’t something that is necessarily needed in a preschool classroom, especially these days, as most preschoolers have more than ample exposure to modern technologies in their home lives. It’s also not something that all early education professionals agree on.
However, developmentally appropriate use of technology in preschool, with active guidance from a teacher, can be beneficial to young children’s development. How you set up, and use, your technology preschool center will determine just how beneficial it is to your preschoolers.
When setting up your technology preschool center you need to consider the space needed and also what else will be around it. Often times when children are using technology they need a lot of focus, so a busy area with a lot distractions will take away from any learning that the technology center would otherwise provide. To determine the amount of space needed, consider what you will include in the center and how many children you will allow to be there at one time.
In preschool, you can have a designated technology center, but you can also have a variety of interactive media and technology throughout your classroom. Setting up a listening center in the library area or an old record player in the music and movement center are some ways that you can integrate technology into different learning centers.
PROVIDE A VARIETY OF TECHNOLOGY
There are so many options when it comes to technology that you can include in your preschool classroom. Too often, people just think of tablets and computers when it comes to technology for preschoolers, but it is important to not just add screen-time in order to meet this requirement. Here are a few ideas of technology to include in your preschool technology center.
- Audio books
- Record player
- Voice recorder
- Interactive whiteboards
INCLUDE ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
Assistive technologies are important in creating an inclusive classroom. The assistive technologies that you include in your classroom can have a huge impact on preschoolers with special needs by making their daily lives easier and enhancing their interactions with peers. Of course, the assistive technologies included in your classroom should be specific to your preschoolers needs, but here are some ideas for what assistive technologies you could include.
- Noise blocking headphones
- Weighted blankets or vests
- Child friendly timer
- Single message device
- Apps that “speak” for the child based on what they select on the screen
How you set up your technology preschool center will impact how your preschoolers engage with the media and technology tools provided, and of course how they benefit from them, too. Don’t forget that including technology in your preschool classroom does not have to mean allowing screen time. There are many types of technology that you can include without providing tablets and computers. However, using those devices in small doses with the guidance of a teacher can be beneficial too.