The Value of Technology in Educating Young Children

The Value of Technology in Educating Young ChildrenAre young children well suited to the use of technology? Modern technologies are very powerful because they rely on one of the most powerful genetic biases we do have – the preference for visually presented information. The human brain has a tremendous bias for visually presented information. Television, movies, videos, and most computer programs are very visually oriented and therefore attract and maintain the attention of young children. When young children sit in front of television for hours, they fail to develop other perceptions. But the technologies that benefit young children the greatest are those that are interactive and allow the child to develop their curiosity, problem solving and independent thinking skills.

Technology plays a key role in all aspects of American life which will only increase in the future. As technology has become more easy to use, the usage of it by children has simultaneously increased. Early childhood educators have a responsibility to critically examine the impact of technology on children and be prepared to use technology to benefit children. Children educators must be more responsible in bringing a change in the lives of children and their families.

There are several issues related to the use of technology by young children:

• the essential role of teacher in evaluating in evaluating appropriate use of technology.
• the amalgamation of technology in early childhood programs
• stereotyping and violence in software
• equitable access to technology
• implication of technology for professional development
• role of teachers and parents as advocates

A teacher’s role is critical in making good decisions regarding the use of technology in order to achieve potential benefits. Choosing the correct software is quite similar to choosing the perfect set of books for a classroom. Teachers should take the advantage of computers to introduce new teaching and development strategies. Computers are intrinsically compelling for young children. The sound and graphics attract a child’s attention. An appropriate software engages children in creative play, mastery learning, problem solving, and conversation. Children control the pacing and the action. They can repeat a process or activity as often as they like and experiment with variations. They can collaborate in making decisions and share their discoveries and creations. Well-designed early childhood software grows in dimension with the child, enabling her to find new challenges as she becomes more proficient. Appropriate visual and verbal prompts designed in the software expand play themes and opportunities while leaving the child in control. Vast collections of images, sounds, and information of all kinds are placed at the child’s disposal. Software can be made age appropriate even for children as young as three or four. This shows that technology can enhance a child’s cognitive and social abilities. It provides a window to a child’s thinking.

Every classroom has its own guiding philosophies, values, themes and activities. Early childhood educators should promote equitable access to technology for all children and their families. Modern technologies are very powerful as they rely on one of the most powerful biases we have. The problem with this is that many of the modern technologies are very passive. Because of this they do not provide children with the quality and quantity of crucial emotional, social, cognitive, or physical experiences they require when they are young.

Unfortunately, technology is often used to replace social situations but it should be used to enhance human interactions. During the current decade, research has moved beyond simple questions about technology. Very young children are showing comfort and confidence in handling computers. They can turn them on, follow pictorial directions, and use situational and visual cues to understand and reason about their activity. Typing on the keyboard does not seem to cause them any trouble; in fact, it seems to be a source of pride. Thanks to recent technological developments, even children with physical and emotional disabilities can use the computer with ease. Besides enhancing their mobility and sense of control, computers can help improve self-esteem.

Thus the exclusive value of technology is no more in question. Research shows that what is solid for children is not merely what is physical but what is meaningful. Computer representations are often more manageable, flexible, and extensible. To add more there are a number of specialized programs that allow children with certain information-processing problems to get a multimedia presentation of content so that they can better understand and process the material. Even now there are a number of good software programs with a primary educational focus on mathematics or reading. These programs, which are very engaging, motivate children to read better and learn how to solve math problems. When information is presented in a fun and way, it is a lot easier than looking at a single page that has a bunch of columns of numbers you’re supposed to add up.

We are always in search for the magic wand that vanish and solve all our programs. And today the magic wand in our life is technology. It not only increases academic skill, reduce dropout rates but also diminishes the racial divide in academic performance. The danger, however, is that computers will be used only to reinforce the national trend toward earlier and more academic skill acquisition, and that other important developmental needs will be ignored. Moreover the fear will remain that developmental needs not met through technology will be ignored or radically compromised: physical play, outdoor exploration of the community and of nature; art, music and dance; learning specific social skills and moral values, and experiencing diversity in a myriad of ways.

In most of the early childhood programs and schools, technology will be part of the learning landscape of the future. To make sure this new technology is used effectively, we must assure that teachers are fully trained and supported, and that the programs and internet sites used are developmentally appropriate, non racist, non-biased against people with disabilities, and respect religious differences.

Helping Boys to Read

Helping Boys to ReadThere is much discussion about the need to do more to help boys to read. It is well known that boys are slower readers than girls and later to start reading for pleasure, and it is the opinion of experts that the beginning of self-motivated reading out of interest is the break-through point in education, irrespective of the reader’s career aspirations. Reading is the essential tool for all courses of higher education. Complete fluency with lack of conscious effort is only achieved after many hours with books that capture the imagination. The challenge to teachers, authors and parents is how to generate the fascination to motivate that first stumble into a jungle full of long words and unfamiliar expressions, with the incentive to press on to the end no matter how many times the progress is interrupted.

Young people in the twenty-first century spend hours looking at screens on a variety of electronic devices from computers to mobile telephones. It is playing games that captures the young imagination and at first these involve only pictures and patterns. However, observant parents have reported that their children reach a point where they notice that there is writing on the screen, and that if this could be interpreted, the game would become even more enjoyable. Here is motivation for reading arising from the technology that some fear is rendering obsolete the traditional paper book, but gathering information from the Internet, receiving or sending emails or texts, and a hundred other things can only be done with an attained fluency in reading and writing. The technology has challenged the dominance of the printed word but it has not yet eliminated the need for literacy.

The computer and other electronic devices might stimulate an interest in learning to read but it is doubtful if they can yet be the sole medium for teaching the skill. Books can be read on computer screens and kindle readers, but many adult readers still prefer printed books and many parents and teachers still prefer to use books in helping children to read. Nothing electronic can rival the beauty of children’s first picture books and looking at them with a parent is the natural path into reading. The experts still maintain the importance of the picture book and recommend that all children’s books should have pictures even when the text comes to dominate.

Most children have happy memories of a parent, aunt or uncle, reading aloud to them when they were young, and this shared activity often occurred at bedtime. There is no doubt that the gentlest entry into the world of the written word comes from first sharing a picture book with a parent, being read to, and gradually engaging more and more in deciphering those strange symbols that represent speech. And the more exciting and funny the pictures and stories, the greater the curiosity that draws the young reader onwards to the point where both pictures and parents become redundant.

Saint George, Rusty Knight, and Monster Tamer is a series of nine self-contained historical short stories which introduces George, a hapless knight who has an unusual skill for monster taming, and which, with wit and delightful aplomb takes the young reader on an adventurous journey though some significant moments in history.

Challenges in the Modern Education Management

Challenges in the Modern Education ManagementTackling violent incidents on the campuses of educational institutions seems to be one of the major administrative challenges. There are many instances of clashes, murder, group clashes, indecent behaviour with female staff or girl students, and other related incidents. It is unfortunate that such criminal incidents do take place on the campuses of educational institutions. All the concerned people are supposed to maintain standards and also protect the dignity of the educational institutions.

Teachers, managers, governments, media, voluntary organisations, and several other national and international organisations need to work towards the peaceful management of the educational institutions.

Mere seminars, workshops, research, may not yield the desired results. Concrete action is the need of the hour.

The increase in competition among the institutions is responsible for improvements in several facilities too.

Some of the major challenges include: 1. Safety, and security of all, 2. Supply of high quality food, in case of residential campuses, and water, 3. Quality of teaching, and non- teaching staff, 4. Misbehaviour, 5. Maintenance of over all quality, 6. Payments of bills, and receiving the fees, 7. Retaining, and enhancement of reputation, 8. Satisfying all the people concerned, 9. Maintainance of hostels quality and dispensary or first aid, 10. Solutions to several problems, 11. Conducting examinations professionally, 12. Dealing with the mistakes committed by students and other staff during examinations, 13. Management of laboratories, 14. Conducting workshops, seminars, 15. placements. 16. Enhancing Confidence. 17. Management of accounts or financial management, 18. Materials management, 19. Prevention of untoward incidents, 20. Academic and non-academic achievements, 21. Maintenance of infrastructure, 22. Managing time, 23. Adhering to academic and non-academic schedules, 24. Protecting the constitutional values, 25. Sticking to the rules and regulations of the governments both at the central and the state levels. 26. Avoidance of committing mistakes, 27. Maintaining high quality transportation for students, and other staff, etc.

Only when the above challenges are tackled professionally, the true education can be imparted to the students. The campuses need to train all the concerned professionally and at regular intervals.

Shooting among the students, stabbing incidents, rape, fire accidents in the laboratories, etc were also reported on some international educational campuses in the recent past. The security personnel need to be more vigilant and check the belongings carefully when the people enter the campuses. Negligence from any quarter would lead to several problems. There are also reports that some campuses do not even employ any security personnel!

A Teachers Role in Innovation

A Teachers Role in InnovationWhat does the trampoline, popsicles, braille, the Oink-a-Saurus App, and wristies have in common? Well, they were all invented by kids (Perman). Regardless of age, race, disability, or economic status the ability to become an innovator lies within. As educators we have the responsibility to educate and prepare students, all students, for their future, which can be the ultimate challenge when no one knows what the future will hold. The only consistency is knowing that each student will have a different future and this world, as we know it, will be drastically different in 20 years. While studying innovation, through an educator’s perspective, I’ve realized there are several roles we can play in order to inspire innovation but two really stand out: we can encourage and teach professional skills.

The initial role as an educator is to inspire and encourage innovation by never underestimating the creative intuition of anyone, especially a child. Teachers have the opportunity to boost a child’s confidence or destroy it. By merely saying “oh, that’s awesome” or giving a disbelieving look, the actions of a teacher can permanently influence a child. Self-confidence is initially learned through others’ positive motivation, and a teacher’s voice can be that initial motivation to keep the student believing in their self and in their goals. As a high school student, Philo T. Farnsworth (a.k.a. The Father of Television) presented his teacher with a better television system; his teacher replied “go for it” and continued to support and follow Farnsworth through the process (Flawtow,94). I cannot imagine what could have happened if Farnsworth’s teacher would have reacted in a non-supportive manner.

Not only can teachers encourage students’ verbally but also in the way they allow students to ask questions. Although the question of “why?” can generally get on everyone’s nerves (eventually) it is important to encourage curiosity and divergent thinking when it comes to innovation. Norris Sanders, author of Classroom Questions-what kinds?, provides readers with a new perspective that questions can be the key to student interest and engagement which encourages learning and should not be ignored. One way to help capture those interest is by creating a Wonder Wall for the classrooms. A wonder wall provides teachers and students with an opportunity to allow their curiosity to run. If a student asks an off-topic question, the teacher can say “that’s interesting, why don’t you put it on the wonder wall” and continue the lesson. Then, during a down time students address theirs or someone else’s wondering question.

Another role teachers have in innovation is teaching students how to be a professional, including the skill of problem solving. Every invention or business is initially created to solve some type of problem (medical issues, processing speed, even boredom). It’s time to teach our students that a problem is only a question that has not been answered, and it is their job to answer it. Teaching in-depth problem solving techniques is not a top priority in many curriculum standards and could easily fall through the cracks. However if teachers took a unique approach to teaching by implementation the DISCOVER (Discovering Intellectual Strengths and Capabilities while Observing Varied Ethnic Responses) curriculum model, they would be able to set the foundation for future innovators as well as prepare all students in being resourceful at problem solving (Maker, Schiever, p165-194). The DISCOVER curriculum model allows students opportunity to identify a problem (that they are passionate about), research the previously attempted solutions, and look at the problem through various perspectives. In doing so, students will be prepared to investigate and hypothesize possible new solutions and, depending on ability level and time, could implement. This model provides all ability levels and diverse learners with the opportunity to discover a new way of approaching life problems. Through the implementation of the DISCOVER model, students will strengthen their professional skills by learning how to identify problems, use higher level questioning techniques, research using various resources, identify different perspectives, and work collaboratively with others.

Educators have the opportunity to positively influence and provide students with the skills to be successes in life, if they have the desire and autonomy to do so. Teaching students to succeed and change the world are two reasons why many teachers get into the profession. Think about how many students teachers interact with on a daily basis; when you calculate that total over the course of an entire working career it is astonishing the number of developing minds teachers can influence. A teacher’s role in innovation can be tiresome, but in the end, it is an exciting and rewarding experience.


Maker, C.J. & Schiever, S.W. (2005) Teaching Models in Education of the Gifted, 3rd ed. Austin, Tx.

Flatow, I. (1992). They all laughed–: From light bulbs to lasers, the fascinating stories behind the great inventions that have changed our lives. New York: HarperCollins.

Perman, C.(2011). Inventions by Kids. CNBC. Retrieved from

Sanders, N. M. (1966). Classroom questions: What kinds? New York: Harper & Row.