Tech in the Early Years

About the Book

Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years:

Tools for Teaching and Learning

Image courtesy of Early Learning Community, Pacific University

Image courtesy of Early Learning Community, Pacific University


Forward by Ed Greene

Introduction: Technology and Digital Media in the Early Years –Chip Donohue


Part 1 – Technology and Young Children

Chapter 1, What Would Fred Rogers Say? David Kleeman and Dr. Alice Wilder respond to the question, “What would Fred Rogers Say?” and remind us to consider what’s best for the child’s healthy development first, and then look to technology and digital media for tools to achieve these goals.

Chapter 2, Technology as a Tool for Social-Emotional Development: What We Can Learn from Fred Rogers’ Approach Hedda Sharapan, who worked closely with Fred Rogers for many years, explains how his approach to social-emotional development can guide our selection of technology tools and experiences that support interactions, relationships and pro-social behaviors.

Chapter 3, Technology and Digital Media as Tools for Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age Chip Donohueprovides an overview and framework for thinking about technology in the early years, and for the effective, appropriate and intentional use of technology with young children.

Chapter 4, Teaching with Technology: Preparing Early Childhood Educators for the Digital Age Chip Donohue and Roberta Schomburg identify new demands on teacher education and teacher educators to prepare early childhood teachers who have the technology confidence, competence and digital media literacy necessary to select, use, integrate and evaluate technology for the classroom and for individual children.

Chapter 5, What Would Maria Montessori Say About the iPad? Theoretical Frameworks for Children’s Interactive Media Warren Buckleitner describes how theory can and should inform our selection and use of technology tools with young children. He poses the question, “What Would Maria Montessori Say About the iPad?” and then looks for answers in the words, philosophy and approach of Montessori and other famous theorists.

Chapter 6, Connecting Child Development and Technology: What We Know and What It MeansMichael Robb and Alexis Lauricella identify what we know and what it means from the body of research on children’s media and the emerging research on interactive media and digital devices. They describe how our knowledge of children’s development contributes to our understanding of new digital tools and the features of effective children’s media.


Part 2 – Technology in the Classroom

Chapter 7, Media Literacy in Early Childhood Education: Inquiry-based Technology Integration –Faith Rogow describes what media literacy is, the purpose of media literacy education, what it means in early childhood education, and how teachers can support media literacy for children and parents, while strengthening their own along the way.

Chapter 8, Pioneering Literacy in the Digital AgeLisa Guernsey and Michael H. Levine share lessons learned, innovative and promising practices, and the challenges of improving literacy in the digital age and offer examples and next steps for improving literacy practices.

Chapter 9, Technology to Support Dual Language LearnersKaren N. Nemeth provides information about who dual language learners are and what they need and connects that to the affordances and advantages of using appropriate technology tools in intentional ways.

Chapter 10, Including All Young Children in the Technology-supported Curriculum: A UDL Technology Integration Framework for 21st Century Classrooms – Howard (Phil) Parette and Craig Blum, address the obstacles and opportunities of including all young children in the technology-supported curriculum through a UDL (Universal Design for Learning) technology integration framework to make sure the environment and activities are inclusive and the use of technology supports classroom goals while providing tools and supports for individual children.

Chapter 11, Stepping into STEM with Young Children: Simple Robotics and Programming as Catalysts for Early LearningKate Highfield provides a description of, and rationale for, STEM in the early years and discusses how simple, affordable and programmable toys and robotics can fit into the developmentally appropriate framework, encourage hands-on investigations and experimentation, and allow for integration of STEM concepts across the curriculum.

Chapter 12, Innovate, Educate and Empower: New Opportunities with New TechnologiesMark Bailey and Bonnie Blagojevic connect existing tools with new digital tools available to teachers and for young children. They describe the importance of having traditional materials alongside digital tools and highlight the power of digital tools to transform the nature of learning with young children when used thoughtfully.

Chapter 13, Technology Tools for Teachers and Teaching: Innovative Practices and Emerging TechnologiesBrian Puerling and Angela Fowler focus on innovative practice and engaging technologies as tools for teachers and teaching. They identify a wide range of technology tools that teachers can integrate into the classrooms that let children explore, develop, and share their creativity with others.


Part 3 – Technology Beyond the Classroom

Chapter 14, Technology as a Tool to Strengthen the Home-School Connection Tamara Kaldor identifies a variety of technology tools, offers practical advice for teachers, and shares strategies that can improve communication, build relationships, and strengthen the home-classroom and home-school connection.

Chapter 15, Technology Tools for Strengthening CommunitiesLuisa Cotto introduces tools and strategies to build and strengthen the sense of ownership and community within the classroom, program, and to the neighborhood and beyond.

Chapter 16, Access, Content & Engagement: How Children’s Librarians Support Early Learning in the Digital Age – Cen Campbell and Carisa Kluver explore the emerging role of children’s librarians at the intersection of digital media and early learning, and as media mentors for young children, parents and educators and describe the digital context for informal learning – in the library, at a children’s museum, at a zoo or nature center, and in out-of-school time programs.

Chapter 17, Connected Educator – Connected Learner: The Evolving Roles of Teachers in the 21st Century and BeyondAmanda Armstrong looks at what it means to be a connected educator and the implications for teaching and learning in the 21st century. She offers examples, strategies and resources to help educators get connected in new and broader ways.