Emerging Role of Technology to Support Early Childhood Pedagogy
Technology, specialized tools or techniques, has always been a part of the early childhood classroom. Technological tools can be high-tech, simple-tech, or no-tech. High-tech tools, the focus of this chapter, are those related to digital technology-newer tools like smartphones, tablet computers, and interactive white boards as well as older forms like television and video, desktop computers, and digital cameras. When we ﬁ rst began working with young children, a core piece of technology, and an indicator of classroom quality, was the woodworking bench (Harms & Clifford, 1980). As novice teachers, we approached this piece of technology with some trepidation: What classroom learning goals were supported by a woodworking bench? What safety issues did we need to consider when we weighed what tools or materials we should include with the woodworking bench-realistic but child-size metal hammers and real saws or plastic replicas? What social interactions, between children, and between teachers and children, were appropriate for the woodworking bench? And, perhaps equally important, what training did we have in using these materials-had we ever used a vise grip, a cross cut, or a rip saw? The questions we ask as we introduce new forms of technology into the classroom are the same; what changes are the tools themselves.