EdTech for the Younger Ones? Not Without Trained Teachers
As always, you have touched the heart of the matter in this piece. With the responsible and intentional use of technology, educators have the ability to transform classrooms, just as educators in in K-12 and higher education. But, there is a profound disparity that sets early education far behind other sectors of education: As a rule, the vast majority of early childhood programs do not have the professional development, support networks, infrastructure, and equipment upon which other sectors of education are built. It’s not so simple to just specify what teachers need. Jumping into the technology mainstream is far more complex for early educators.
Aside from publicly funded Pre-K programs, early childhood educator qualifications and training vary widely. Administrators and teachers often lack the technology know-how, resources, support networks, and experience of their counterparts in other education sectors. With these issues as a backdrop during a period of rapid proliferation of educational technology development, it is important to acknowledge the lack of funding for educational technology. While I often see grant opportunities for K-12 programs, I rarely see similar offers that include early childhood programs.
Knowing what we know about what teachers and administrators need to be intentional about technology use doesn’t help if there is no money for infrastructure and no state guidelines/expectations for early childhood programs. We need a call to action for public and private funding similar to those offered in the K-12 sector.
Fran Simon, M.Ed.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost