What should edtech developer guidelines be for early childhood?

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Tamara Kaldor, consulting program coordinator was a part of a convening of education innovation clusters
organized by Digital Promise and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology (OET) hosted by Leap Innovations at 1871 this week in Chicago. The OET released the first-ever EdTech Developer’s Guide this spring and is touring the country to meet with developers, startups, entrepreneurs, school districts and other key stakeholders to get the conversation started on how to best create meaningful applications and programs for educators, parents and children.

Early childhood professionals are innovators every day in your work with children and families. What questions should the TEC Center be bringing to the conversation table with policymakers, developers, startups and entrepreneurs?  What technology tools might be most meaningful to you and the population you serve? What is missing in your toolbox? 

The OETC has identified these ten opportunities for the creation of edtech tools for a variety of users:

Opportunities abound for software designers and developers to create impactful tools for teachers, school leaders, students, and their families. This guide for developers, startups and entrepreneurs addresses key questions about the education ecosystem and highlights critical needs and opportunities to develop digital tools and apps for learning. Crowd-sourced from knowledgeable educators, developers, and researchers who were willing to share what they have learned, this guide is designed to help entrepreneurs apply technology in smart ways to solve persistent problems in education.  

U.S. Department of the Office of Educational Technology Developer's Guide

U.S. Department of the Office of Educational Technology Developer’s Guide

Ten opportunities for technology to transform teaching & learning

  1. Improving mastery of academic skills
  2. Developing skills to promote lifelong learning
  3. Increasing family engagement
  4. Planning for future education opportunities
  5. Designing effective assessments
  6. Improving educator professional development
  7. Improving educator productivity
  8. Making learning accessible to all students
  9. Closing opportunity gaps
  10. Closing achievement gaps

At the TEC Center we begin every conversation about technology and young children with a solid foundation of child development theory and we explore and advance appropriate and intentional uses of technology and mindful technology integration through the lens of what we know about how children grown, develop and learn, the importance of relationships and social-emotional development, and the centrality of family and culture in children’s lives. 

We are looking forward to hearing your thoughts and questions about edtech innovation for early childhood professionals and the diverse audiences we serve. What is missing from the list? What is missing from your own toolbox? Share your ideas in the comments or tweet us!

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