The Top Tech Skills to Know Before Becoming an ECE Teacher

With the digital era upon us and technology in a constant flux of change, today’s children are learning from some of the most innovative technologies on the market. We’ve moved away from the now dead technologies of the past like VCRs, tape recorders and cassette players, into the innovations of today such as tablets, smartphones, apps and the expansion of the internet. These developments allow for today’s children to learn in new ways.

As the tides continue to change in the teaching with technology world, we must change with it to stay relevant to students. Ten years ago, we had classrooms with box televisions and VCRs, but now classrooms are learning through Skype® or on an iPad®. 

Understanding the use of technology while teaching is a marketable skill to possess as technology will continue to evolve over time. The question is what are the top media and tech skills for you to know now before becoming an early childhood education teacher?

We uncovered the new media and technology tools being used in today’s early childhood education classroom. In this article you will learn about:

-Apps and why they are a useful technology and tool for classroom learning.

-The different early childhood education age groups and how they are using technology in the classroom.

-Organization and how these new technologies will help you stay organized in your future classroom.

Learning: There’s an App for That

Apps are important in today’s classroom because they provide the ability for fun and learning simultaneously. Child development game apps are very popular in the early childhood classroom with the increasing availability of school-owned tablet PC’s and iPad’s®. Research conducted by the Cooney Center found 70 percent of teachers using digital games increased student motivation and engagement with curriculum.

Students are now learning how to complete puzzles through apps on tablets and iPads® instead of plastic geometric shapes. With app learning, students can complete an assignment with a flick of their finger. Apps even debuted in ESL learning with students learning about speech, words and spelling.

Do you have a smartphone or tablet? You can learn how to use these apps, too. Download a few of these child development apps for students onto your tablet, smartphone or other mobile device, and begin learning what you may want to share and teach to your future students. In addition, begin planning curriculum around these apps to gain relevant experience to put on your resume for the future.

Tech for Tots

When technology is used appropriately and intentionally, it can be an effective use of time and development for children. Below, we share what types of technology and interactive tools to learn, so you can use them in your future early childhood classroom.

According to a content analysis by Sesame Workshop’s Joan Ganz Cooney Center, 60 percent of the top 25 paid apps in the iTunes® App Store’s education section target toddlers and preschoolers.

For infants and toddlers it’s important to understand what stage of the development process they are in. Education World states toddlers learn by doing. In other words, they’re taking learning into their own hands by playing dress up, house and more. In Fulton, Missouri, toddlers are learning from smart boards and other visual communication tools. As infants and toddlers continue to respond and understand these interactive tools, be sure to take a look at these apps for babies and toddlers to help maintain a structured technology learning model.

Preschoolers and kindergartners are continuing to find their curiosity and creative behaviors. Outlets like online gaming and computer software learning are great tools to use for teaching. One preschool teacher had a great idea on how to integrate technology into the preschool classroom by bringing her iPad® to use during a ‘circle time’ activity. Ideas like this can cultivate creative learning and boost the mind of the young child. Give your future preschoolers something to charge their noodle with from this great list of apps for preschoolers.

Organization for Teachers

Your future students won’t be the only ones to benefit from apps. There are tech tools out there that will help you stay an organized teacher year-round. Below, we have put together a list of great apps and other new media tools to be used to help you stay organized in your future classroom.

Communication and Organization

There are many ways to keep in touch with students and their parents. Although your future students may not be old enough to text or leave you a voicemail, their parents are.

A great way to further your knowledge and understanding for the tech ed world is to take a Google certification class. You’ll learn how to integrate these commonly used apps (docs, calendar, sites, and more) into your classroom planning method and how you can connect with your future students’ parents.

Another great way to keep your future classroom on your brain is to start a Pinterest account. Pinterest is a great way to organize and collect your thoughts onto one board or several boards, your choice. Check out the 5 fantastic early childhood education Pinterest boards to follow and our 5 tips to get started.

In addition to these great resources, you may want to start using a great organization tool called Trello. We use this on our team, and it’s helpful to keep our thoughts organized, but also collaborate with one another on our ideas.

Social Media

Do you love being online and chatting with others who have a common interest with you? How about other students studying the same things as you or professionals who are in your field? If so, check out #KinderChat on Twitter. It’s a weekly, Monday night [9 p.m.] chat set-up for like-minded Kindergarten teachers and others who are interested in the profession.

Are there any tech tools we missed or ones you see yourself wanting to learn for your future classroom? Let us know on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.

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Kendall Bird is an Online Community Specialist for Rasmussen College. With her Bachelor’s degree in public relations and a passion for social media, she enjoys writing motivating and enthusiastic blog content to encourage future, current and former students to learn more about their discipline of study. Kendall’s ultimate goal is to generate a positive community through blogging to promote learning and change lives.

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