Tech in the Early Years

Introduction by Chip Donohue, Editor


Welcome to Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years: Tools for Teaching and Learning. The work of 25 contributing authors, this bookoffers early childhood teacher educators, professional development providers and early childhood educators in pre-service, in-service and continuing education settings a thought-provoking guide to effective, appropriate and intentional use of technology with young children. It provides strategies, theoretical frameworks, links to research evidence, demonstrations and descriptions of best practices, and resources to develop essential digital media literacy attitudes, knowledge, experiences and competencies for the digital age.

Our goal is to help early childhood educators connect the dots between what we know about child development, early learning, developmentally appropriate practice, teaching practices, children’s media research, teacher education and professional development practices with what we are learning about the appropriate and intentional use of technology tools and digital media with young children. Each chapter highlights relevant research, grounds effective teaching practices in child development theory and developmentally appropriate practice, and aligns with the principles and guidelines from the NAEYC & Fred Rogers Center Joint Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children from Birth through Age 8 and the Fred Rogers Center Framework for Quality in Children’s Digital Media.

Throughout the book we have linked key concepts, teaching strategies, real-life stories and examples of best practice with technology tools to the Position Statement to create a common understanding about what works best for young children at the intersection of child development, early learning and digital media. The pedagogical principles, classroom practices and teaching strategies presented are informed by child development theory, developmentally appropriate practice and the research on effective, appropriate and intentional use of technology in early childhood settings.

The contributing authors are all established leaders in early childhood education and thought leaders and innovators in the selection, use, integration and evaluation of technology and interactive media tools in early childhood teacher preparation and classroom teaching practices. They bring years of experience and expertise to their writing, and share a deep commitment to young children and child development first, technology second. Like Fred Rogers, they always keep the child first, consider what is best for the child’s development and learning, and use technology as a tool to support relationships, social-emotional development, and pro-social behaviors.

Click the name of a contributing author on the list to link to the author profile page where you’ll learn more about each author, enjoy an excerpt from their chapter, and have access to video clips, publications, presentations and resources about their specific interests and expertise related to technology and digital media in the early years.

This quote from Fred Rogers serves as a reminder of what is most important and a perfect stepping off point for your reading, learning and teaching.

“Computers can be useful machines, especially when they help people communicate in caring ways with each other…” Fred Rogers, 1996.


Learn more