ICT in the Early Years
E2BN ICT in the Early Years

Child development

Ensure your use of ICT is developmentally appropriate:

  • Ensure an educational purpose
  • Encourage collaboration
  • Integrate with other aspects of the curriculum
  • Ensure the child is in control
  • Choose applications that are transparent
  • Avoid applications containing violence or stereotyping
  • Be aware of health and safety issues

(From DATEC)

Match your expectations of children's play with technology to their developmental level:

  • Children need to be stimulated; they need to be interested in the first place. Their interest can rely on the practitioner's skill; is the technology appropriate, is it accessible, is it being used in an appropriate context, is it being modelled by adults and other children?
  • Then children need opportunities to play and freely explore technology. If the technology is expensive and hard to provide free access to, think about providing defunct technology for children to play with and explore. Children exploring technology are interested in how it works, what it does and how it is meaningful for them; at this level of play they are not likely to be interested in producing a particular outcome.
  • Once children have explored a particular piece of technology they need opportunities for repeated practice. Through this they will consolidate what they know, work out how sequences of actions work together and build their confidence and sense of achievement.
  • After free exploration and plenty of rehearsal children will be ready to use the technology for a purpose. If we expect children to use technology for a planned outcome without providing opportunities for their developmental steps children will flounder. They will need more instruction, lack confidence and be unlikely to take on the technology for their own purposes.

Children will go through each of the above stages as they come across new technology, indeed many of us continue to approach technology in this way. 


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