Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Technology In Early Childhood Education Is Here To Stay, Researchers Say

The use of technology in classrooms is not new, but evolving hardware and broadband accessibility are changing how educators think about those tools in their classrooms.

At a forum on using technology in early childhood education, hosted Tuesday by the Rand Corporation, the message was clear: Researchers should continue to explore the use of technology in early childhood education, but the focus should be on how to best use it, not whether to use it.

Chip Donohue, director of the Erikson Institute Technology in Early Childhood Center, said technology use should develop digital literacy in young students as well as help advance skills like math and reading.

“It shouldn’t be either learn how to use the technology or use it as a tool for learning, it’s use it as a tool for learning and in the process of doing that learn how it works,” Donohue said.

Presenters said it’s still unclear how best to accomplish those goals and more research is needed in that area. But EdSurge writer Katrina Stevens said new research in the field should focus on realistic solutions that can be implemented by parents and teachers outside of academia. 

“I feel like we need to look at the real parameters of what our parents’ lives are, our children’s lives are, our providers’ lives are, and actually do research that’s based on actual practicalities,” she said.

Presenters at the forum also emphasized the need to use technology in a way that would reduce the digital skill gap in low-income students, rather than grow it. 

To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.