How technology can help in an early childhood classroom and at home
The fact is, teaching is one of the most demanding professions of all time — both physically and emotionally. People often get baffled when they realize the amount of workload teachers deal with on a daily basis, from lesson plans, record keeping to admin tasks like managing a child’s attendance and responding to parents. Added to that is the multiple roles teachers play to meet the needs of the multiple individuals they teach. These tasks and roles are often repetitive, eating away too much time to the teachers’ already jam-packed days. The time they could have spent at more productive and important tasks — like improving their teaching pedagogy or spending more time with their students focusing on their development and learning — is spent completing school administrative processes and preparing reports.
Through the years technology has helped streamline administrative processes and take learning online but it has mostly focussed on Grade 1 to 12 schools. Early childhood preschools and daycares have been largely left untouched by technology, till very recently.
In the early childhood space, technology can play the below critical roles:
- - help automate a center’s day to day operations
- - improve child safety through the use of CCTVs, bus tracking, student check-in, and check-outs, etc.
- - help manage and execute learning through the curriculum, lesson plan management, and instructional material design
- - track and assess a child’s developmental milestones allowing individualized attention
- - help keep parents aware and engaged in a child’s development and learning
- - help save time, paper and money
- - deliver educational content
In addition to the above roles, technology in early childhood can help in very specific ways to track a child’s day which can be instrumental in understanding a child’s behavior and response to his or her surroundings. For e.g.
- Tracking nap times can help ensure that the child is getting sufficient sleep, critical for proper brain development
- Tracking diaper changes can help enforce recommended hygiene standards
- Tracking mood of a child can provide an early warning for bipolar disorders
…and much more
Apps like SoCoWorld are also used to monitor real-time students’ presence in school premises and beyond e.g on a school bus or van. Furthermore, they are popularly used for record-keeping, student progress monitoring, and teacher performance monitoring practices. Now, many tasks are simplified and are finished through simple mouse clicks or screen-taps helping reduce a teacher’s burden with paperwork and other repetitive tasks.
And it keeps on improving.
Technology continues to make itself useful in the teaching and learning process. There are now apps that improve pedagogy. We have digital classroom platforms like Google Classroom, a collaborative all-in-one preschool and daycare management app for parents and teachers like SoCoWorld, inspiring and influential educational talk resources like TED, an app that turns smartphones and tablets into an interactive whiteboard, and so much more.
These apps may be utilized by students as channels for paperless submission of their creative works, outputs, and portfolios. Not only does it promote environmental and ecological benefits, but it also allows learners to productively interact with technology. Such practices engage parents more towards learning helping them contribute to the learning circle started in school.
Moreover, parents are also increasingly relying on technology to better monitor the progress of their children. In many cases, they also used as a reliable way of providing security and safety for their kids. For instance, SoCoWorld helps parents track their child’s developmental milestones through an Android or Apple app, making it super easy for parents to understand age-specific development indicators, be aware of activities they can do at home with their child and even record their observations.
Technology, among other things, has allowed teachers to be more productive in terms of providing care to children and facilitating learning for students. It also has given parents an easy medium to understand and contribute to their child’s development.