Young Children and ICT
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Overview
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The Digital Divide
Appropriate use of computers
Inappropriate use of computers
Software and website evaluation
Principles of design tasks
Presentation of design tasks created and
developed by early childhood students
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
The Digital Divide
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Division and the technologically
disenfranchised
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Existing social divisions
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Creating new social divisions
Particular groups increasingly
excluded from everyday activities
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Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Demographics…
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Students in regional or remote
areas are less likely to have access
to computers and the internet to
support their learning
Schools and centres in some of
these areas are less likely to have
the budgets to accommodate the
spiraling costs of technology
hardware and software
Services to such communities may
not adequate
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Gender…
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Research indicates that pre-school
boys and girls show equal interest
in computers, but as they grow
older girls spend less time with
computers than do boys.
Girls are using computers in and
out of school less often than boys.
Consider interests and interaction
styles and offer times which
permit girls to explore without
directly competing with boys.
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Race…
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Indigenous students are less
likely to have access to
technology
Technology can be used to
affirm children’s diverse
cultures, languages and
ethnic heritages
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Social class…
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Economically
disadvantaged students
have less access to
computers at home
Educational settings
need to provide these
children in-school
access that is
meaningful, moving
beyond drill-andEwing School of Early
practice usage. BronwynChildhood
QUT
As early childhood educators
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We need to be aware of how children’s identities
in terms of gender, social class and race are
defined, accepted, reproduced as part of the
organisation and use of ICT.
Defining children as “geeks” or “nerds” may
contribute to their social exclusion from their peer
group relations.
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Appropriate use of computers
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Technology cannot and should not replace human interaction or
relationships, or take the place of activities such as reading stories
together or sharing conversations with children;
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Used properly computers and software can serve as catalysts for
social interaction and conversations related to children’s work;
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A learning environment set up for encouraging interaction and the
appropriate use of the technology will increase language and
literacy development.
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
…(cont.)
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Computers are intrinsically motivating for young children and
contribute to cognitive and social development;
Computers can enhance children’s self-concept and improve their
attitudes about learning;
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Children demonstrate increased levels of spoken communication and
cooperation during computer use;
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Children share leadership roles on the computer and initiate interactions
more frequently.
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Inappropriate use of computers…
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To add variety
To reward
Early finishers
Drill and practice – predominates in pre school
classrooms. Is not consistent with current guidelines.
Possibility of loss of motivation and creativity following
drill and practice.
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
What we do the most with computers is
what research and the national guidelines
say we should do the least.
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Selecting Software
and
Websites for Young Children
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Software and Website Selection
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Software and websites need to be carefully
evaluated by teachers and adults to
determine whether they are appropriate for
young children.
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
The difficulty for teachers
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Appropriate activity choices are made in
other areas of the curriculum but when it
comes to computer based activities they
fall short.
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Glitzy sites and software can be attractive
and yet inadequate and inappropriate for
the needs of young children
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
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Most teachers do not have the background
to evaluate the appropriateness of software
and websites.
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Teaching demands and access to computers
means little time is allocated to previewing
website to determine their suitability for
young children.
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Evaluating Children’s Software and
Web Sites
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Using an evaluation framework to determine
appropriateness of software web sites is important
for teachers.
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They provide a guide for determining what makes
a site or software appropriate for the needs of the
diversity in early childhood contexts
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http://www.netc.org/earlyconnections/childcare/so
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
ftware.html
Childhood QUT
Principles of design of ICT Tasks…
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The content must have integrity
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Is it reliable and reflect current practice?
Is the content balanced and present multiple
perspectives relating to similar issues?
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
(cont.)…
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The purpose and structure of the content
must be readily apparent and model rational
learning processes:
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Establishing the purpose for the learner is an
important factor in motivation
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The structure of the learning process must be
made very clear
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
(cont.)…
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Learning tasks must accommodate the range
of types of intellectual processing
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Include explanation, comprehension, openended learning
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Communication…
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The richest and most effective communication
is generated from working together – literally
through interaction
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
Assessment…
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Yes or no answers cannot judge the quality of a
piece of writing
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Most important assessment processes are to be
carried out by the teacher, the student and or his
or her peers
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
In conclusion…
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Encourage creativity
Encourage diversity
Regular testing and trialing must be a part of
the development process and should occur,
through observation of classroom use.
Bronwyn Ewing School of Early
Childhood QUT
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ICT in Early Childhood Contexts