The “tech world” moves fast and there is increasing pressure for early childhood education and museums to incorporate the latest technology. Educators are interested in the possibilities, concerned about the implications and want to know what the “right” way to to implement tech in early learning.
While there are no hard and fast rules for what you “should” do, here are three guidelines for technology and education.
Technology is a Tool That Helps You Do a Job
In both classrooms and museums, going “high tech” can be a big draw. Some people truly love incorporating all of these new developments and others have expectations (internal or external) that they WILL use what is available.
No matter what, it is important to remember that at its core, technology is a tool that helps you do a job. Whatever your main goals are, the technology should support that and help you achieve it. If it doesn’t, then it isn’t an effective tool
You Use Technology, It Doesn’t Use You
Technology often comes in the form of shiny new “toys.” Maybe actual hardware, maybe new programs or even new expectations on how we can shape and communicate our teaching. As an educator, you have to remember that YOU are using the technology and not let it take over and use you. If you are spending more time figuring out how to use it, fighting to squash it in to your day or it becomes the main focus rather then the goals for your students…re-evaluate
If You Can’t Explain WHY You are Using it, You Shouldn’t Be Using It
If someone walked up to you and asked why you were using a particular piece of technology in your classroom or museum, could you answer them? If you can’t explain the purpose of why you are using it, really carefully consider whether you should be using it at all.