The 2016 Plan, Future Ready Learning: Reimagining the Role of Technology in Education, articulates a vision of equity, active use, and collaborative leadership to make everywhere, all-the-time learning possible.
The Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute focuses on helping to prepare early childhood educators to integrate technology meaningfully and appropriately in their work with young children through our innovative professional development models. Every day in our work with and administrators and educators we see the same need for investments in professional development at the the 2016 plan calls for in the Teaching section.
To enact this vision, schools need to support teachers in accessing needed technology and in learning how to use it effectively. Although research indicates that teachers have the biggest impact on student learning out of all other school-level factors, we cannot expect individual educators to assume full responsibility for bringing technology-based learning experiences into schools. They need continuous, just-in-time support that includes professional development, mentors, and informal collaborations. In fact, more than two thirds of teachers say they would like more technology in their classrooms, and roughly half say that lack of training is one of the biggest barriers to incorporating technology into their teaching.
Institutions responsible for pre-service and in-service professional development for educators should focus explicitly on ensuring all educators are capable of selecting, evaluating, and using appropriate technologies and resources to create experiences that advance student engagement and learning. They also should pay special care to make certain that educators understand the privacy and security concerns associated with technology. This goal cannot be achieved without incorporating technology-based learning into the programs themselves.
Contact the TEC Center team if your teachers or program could use help integrating technology successfully into your work with children and families.