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Helping Teachers Think About Technology

by Margie Carter with inspiration from Ann Hatherly
January/February 2010
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Article Link: http://www.childcareexchange.com/article/helping-teachers-think-about-technology/5019130/

Many aspects of the New Zealand system of early childhood education have inspired me; most recently, seeing how they have embraced technology for teachers and children alike. Quite honestly, this was not something I expected to be impressed with on my recent trip to Aoetearoa/NZ. I’m one with big concerns about screen time diverting children from active play. In our U.S. early childhood centers much of the so-called educational software offered to children is just an entertaining form of worksheets. Large white boards are starting to crowd out space for block-building, filling the classroom with a high-tech version of group recitation ­lessons guided by goofy characters. While some American teachers have begun to creatively integrate technology in a child-centered way in their classrooms, I’ve seen others focused more on their technology than engaging with the ­children. Perhaps this is due to limited time with deadlines to input documentation, complete assessment reports, and keep current with e-mail, or just a reflection of our wider culture now obsessed with texting, twittering, and the like. What I saw in New Zealand was impressive use of technology as a pedagogical tool for deepening learning for the ­children, their teachers, and families.

In recent years the ...

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