It is no surprise that technology is rapidly taking over the world, and defining the day to day lives we live. As humans we are constantly engaged in some form of technology. However, the role of technology in early childhood classroom is a growing and controversial topic. The bottom line question for most teachers is whether or not computer based technology is developmentally appropriate for early childhood students, and if they benefit from using computers as a primary learning tool. Technology is the branch of knowledge that deals with the creation and use of technical means and their interrelation with life, society, and the environment (Webster Dictionary). Technology has been present in the world for centuries, from cave men to the industrial revolution which brought on a whole new era of technology to the United States. The Department of Education is granting schools with seven million dollars to help fund technology based learning just this year (Luebbe, 2011). Schools are now starting to be judged by the student to computer ratio, to determine the schools ability to provide a “quality” education. It’s no wonder everywhere we look and everything we do is a counterpart to technology.
2. Review of Literature
As an emerging teacher, it has come to my concern the potential benefits and or harm technology has on young children. By the end of the 1980’s one out of every 4 preschool rooms had a computer, today almost every preschool is equipped with at least one computer. Children over the age of 3 are within Piaget’s preoperational stage. This states that they are concrete learners that are interest in and pick up on newly learned symbolic representation easily (Wardle, 2008). However children at this age need frequent changes in learning modulates to keep them focused. Douglas Clement has been studying child development since 1999, and he fully believes that computer based technology is developmentally appropriate for early childhood students. He goes on to state that children become confident when mastering the skills of software, and they are able to follow pictorial directions. Clement also states that work at a computer will persuade children to work in groups, and become more social. However, he also indicates that beneficial effects of a child learning directly from computers could take up to a year. If students are engaged in the computer program and their attention is drawn on to the screen, do they really interact with other students or are they off somewhere in their own little world (Criss, 2006). With the use of developmental software children can learn a variety of skills such as long-term memory skills and manual dexterity. Children spend up to 3 times as long learning through drill and practice software, but attain half the gain as developmental with supplemental lessons to furnish what computer software is missing (Clement, 2004).
Other studies indicate that children will be more engaged, and willing to...