The TEC Center has a collection of over 40 tangible technology tools, including robotics that we purchase or receive as donations from developers to use in our workshops, for research and to learn more about the technology tools being marketed to educators, libraries, museums, community programs and families.
We DO NOT CURATE OUR COLLECTION OR ENDORSE ANY OF THE TECHNOLOGY OR STEM TOOLS IN THE COLLECTION so that our workshop participants and our learning community at Erikson Institute can make their own assessment. We purchase a wide range of items that are found in the marketplace. As we like to say at Erikson “it depends” and our TEC team often changes our opinion about a tool after we have the opportunity to observe children in different settings explore and master the tool (and sometimes give up on mastering a tool that was not well designed).
These tools are available for loan through the Erikson’s Edward Neisser Library to members of the Erikson Institute community (students, faculty/staff, and alumni). We encourage our community to take the time to explore, play, and evaluate our technology tools by integrating them into your early childhood settings, including classrooms, home daycares, libraries, museums, hospitals, therapy sessions and community programs where children and families spend their time.
While playing with these tools, think about how and if they fit the developmental needs of young children you serve.
- Consider using ourdownloadable Evaluation Questions for Tangible Technology Tools in Early Childhood which was developed during our annual STEM Lab with our students, alumni and faculty.
- You may also want to check out our blog post on getting started with tech integrated lesson planning.
5 Questions to ask as you get started evaluating technology tools for young children:
- How can I facilitate children’s learning with this tool?
- Do I need to master how to use this tool on my own to feel confident introducing this tool to children or could we explore it and master it together?
- Can I successfully introduce this tool in a large group, small group or 1:1?
- Can this tool help me to create a more inclusive learning environment for dual language learners and children with disabilities?
- What fine motor and digital media literacy skills do children need to have before they begin using this tool?
- How can this tool be used to appropriately support social-emotional learning?
- Do I have any concerns about culture or gender stereotypes?
- Will this robotics tool appropriately support computational thinking and coding?
Below we have included our downloadable information sheets for each item in our TEC Collection to help you get started in your exploration and using tangible tech tools with young children.
- These sheets incorporate Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and include a brief overview of the tool, resources required/included, developmental considerations, and objectives. There are QR codes to link you to examples of the tech tool being used in classrooms and other settings. NOTE: We try to keep our QR code links updated but on occasion resources we link to are deleted or removed. Please email us if you notice any QR codes that are not working.
We would like to thank the Exxon-Mobil Foundation, private donors, and the developers for making this collection possible. NOTE:* by a product name indicates it was donated by the product’s developer. Contact us to donate a tech or STEM tool to our collection.