It has become increasingly apparent that young children use technologies in their daily lives and this is something that they are really good at, sometimes better than adults!
Young children still use books, blocks and other traditional toys very effectively and it is obviously really important that they continue to do so.
When we think about where I believe children learn most through their play, socio dramatic play or imaginative play, we see children making references to technology and making what is called symbolic representation – the book is a phone and the wooden desk is a computer.
The strong influences of technology are evident.
We even have a ‘scheme’ – dabbing and swiping are clear repeated patterns of behaviour that children do.
Piaget and Vygotsky both saw symbolic play as important stages, from the ability to substitute one object for another using the knowledge already gained of objects (Piaget). To Vygotsky who saw symbolic play as an essential step that facilitates cognitive development.
From a pedological perspective the use of technology closely fits with Reggio Emilia the importance of allowing children to document their own learning as they take photos of their play.
There is increasing acknowledgement of the benefits of ‘multimodal’ learning, particularly around literacy where we add to the learning through sounds, visuals and a variety of other media and resources.
We need children to have a strong sense of identity – when we think about the social media profile that we have and the potential of false profiles or lives surely we have a duty to support children with this?
We are all connected using technology and children must be able to be part of this too and contribute to their world, many children now having Zooms with relatives or friends.
Children have a strong sense of wellbeing so surely we have a duty to support them with being safe online?
The new EYFS and Development Matters makes little or no reference to technology. We all have differing perspectives for the use of tech. in our settings, our discussion on Clubhouse providing lots of thought about this. Of course it is really important that children
Take a look at this document Education for a Connected World – 2020 edition. It will help you support your curriculum.
Children are confident and involved learners the multimodal approach we have been using for years not only is this important but we need children to respect the technology look after it and appreciate it
Children are effective communicators and technology really supports this from children who aren’t able to convey their needs and wants to the use of walkie talkies to build confidence.
We do need to talk to parents to find our how much tech. is being used at home and help them with online safety. Help them with the wide range of resources available, one is here
Children use information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking
This is evident, for example, when children:
- use technologies in everyday life and use real or imaginary technologies as props in their play
- use technologies to access images and information, explore diverse perspectives and make sense of their world
- use technologies as tools for designing, drawing, editing, reflecting and composing
- engage with technology for fun for play and projects
I do believe that we need to provide children with access to a range of technologies but we must always remember that children learn through real and interactive play, through nature and positive relationships with real people!
Make sure you online safety policy is updated regularly. The NEW EYFS contains a link that has been out since 2019 Safeguarding Children and Protecting Professionals in Early Years Settings Online Safety Guidance for Practitioners
We had a very interesting discussion and some fantastic contributors this week!
For more information about our responsibilities and training for your team, get in touch.
Join in every Wednesday at 8pm UK time on Clubhouse.
My training Building a Culture of Being Safe Online in an Early Years Setting is available now.