Digital Technologies and the Early Childhood Environment Certificate
This online certificate is designed for educators of children, ages four through eight, who wish to learn more about technology and its authentic use in the early childhood environment. The methods and technologies introduced emphasize culturally sensitive and developmentally appropriate practices for a variety of early childhood settings. The courses for this certificate take place over four weeks and include asynchronous (at your own pace) activities and periodic synchronous (together, live, in real time) sessions. Course instructors will act both as a leaders and mentors by offering regular support, suggestions, and direction. Students should expect to spend 3-5 hours per week on coursework.
Participants will strengthen their knowledge around a number of early childhood concepts that are integral to the Bank Street Approach, including play as the young child’s way of making sense of the world around them. Participants will examine progressive and special education practices, family and child-centered curricula, and diverse cultural and linguistic pedagogies.
Participants will examine technologies as a mode of expression for children. We will explore strategies promoting self-regulation, self-esteem, and social, emotional, and cognitive development in young children using digital technologies. Participants will engage in a variety of informal assessments designed to study of young children and technology use.
Participants will investigate specific digital technologies for the early childhood environment, including tablets, apps, cameras, and computers. We will discuss these technologies in relation to early childhood development as well as curriculum and the teacher’s role as facilitator. Participants will explore opportunities and limitations offered by digital materials and play areas, and will examine the legal, ethical, and culturally responsive issues that arise in creating technology enhanced learning environments.
Participants will discover how to create and manage developmentally appropriate centers that use technology to support independent as well as collaborative learning. Through hands-on activities and discussion, we will explore how the use of space and the choice of both analog and digital materials influence how and what children learn. Participants will discuss when to include various digital materials and examine issues that may emerge when implementing digitally enhanced learning activities, such as motivation, persistence, communication, and management. Communication with parents and caregivers about digital and analog tools in the classroom curriculum will be emphasized as a critical component of any classroom environment.