16 SES 13 B, ICT in Early Childhood Education
Using emerging technologies for educational purposes is common practice. Throughout the history, all emerging technologies have been tried to integrate into educational contexts. However, early-childhood educators are assumed more conservative to use technology in their classrooms. It has been discussed that whether technological devices should be used in early-childhood education for a long time (Kerckaert, Vanderlinde, & Braak, 2015). Researchers have argued about the possible detrimental effects of the use of technological devices at an early age and declared their concerns. The famous report of Cordes and Miller (2000), “Fool's Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood” is probably the most cited source of these concerns. In their report, they categorized the risks of using computers in early childhood and elementary education according to different developmental domains. Following years, numerous researchers have joined this debate with similar concerns.
On the other hand, this debate has not been a one-sided argument (McCarrick & Li, 2007). Clements and Sarama (2003) published a report “Strip Mining for Gold: Research and Policy in Educational Technology—A Response to Fool’s Gold” against to Cordes and Miller (2000). In this report, Clements and Sarama (2003) were criticized the former report of Cordes and Miller (2000) cited by many professionals (McCarrick & Li, 2007) in terms of lack of reliance resulting from not having empirical evidence and making overgeneralization. Clements and Sarama (2003) stated that they couldn’t found scientific evidence to social isolation emerging from early technology use. Rather, a great number of research studies proves that computers serve as a catalyst for interaction.
Following years, the impact of technology use in early childhood education was continued to examined. Various research studies reported that technology use enhances children learning in the area of literacy skills (Cassell, 2004; Parette, Quesenberry, & Blum, 2010) helps to increase social skills (Cassell, 2004; Cicconi, 2014; Shifflet, Toledo, & Mattoon, 2012) enables student-centered education (Blackwell, 2013), increases motivation (Lindahl & Folkesson, 2010; Vernadakis, Avgerinos, Tsitskari, & Zachopoulou, 2005).
The focus of debate shifted from the question whether early technology use is appropriate to how technology should be used and integrated into early childhood education, the research (Rosen & Jaruszewicz, 2009; Parette, Quensenberry & Blum 2010; Zomer & Kay, 2016). In addition, National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAYEC) declared their support with the principles to guide the appropriate use of interactive media and technology to enhance children learning and digital literacy development in 2012 is due to the fact that children are born in the digital world and exposed variety of technologies in their daily lives.
With this shift, both technology use in ECE classrooms and the number of research studies on technology use in ECE has increased. In this study, it is aimed to conduct a literature review focusing on technology use in early childhood education to provide a baseline for educators and researchers. Research studies conducted between 2015-2018 will be examined for this purpose. The research questions of this study are as follows
- What is the current status of digital technology use in the field of ECE
- What are purposes of technology use in the field of ECE?
- Which technological devices are widely used in the field of ECE?
- What are impacts of technology use in ECE based on empirical study findings?
- What are methodological properties of conducted research studies? (Sample, methodology, instruments)
This study reviewed peer-reviewed research studies conducted between 2015-2018 pertaining to technology use in early childhood settings. The scope of this review was limited three years since review studies that cover previous years already available (Burnett, 2010; Lankshear & Knobel, 2003; McCarrick & Li, 2007; Yelland, 2005; Zomer & Kay, 2016). Selected research studies were collected from Web of Science and Educational Research Information Center (ERIC) databases. Conference papers, thesis, book sections and other kinds of publications except for peer-reviewed articles were excluded from the scope of the review. Multiple searches on ERIC and Web of Science databases were conducted to determine research studies. Two keywords groups were used in these searches. The first group of keywords consists of technology-related words: technology, ICT and digital. The second group of keywords consists of early-childhood related words. These are early childhood, preschool, and kindergarten. All combinations of these words were used as search quires.
The literature review conducted focusing on studies between 2015 and 2018. This first attempt showed that the number of empirical research studies on technology use in ECE is less than survey studies focusing affective characteristic of teachers, parents, and children toward to technology use. It was found 17 peer-reviewed experimental studies. Our first analysis revealed following results • Reviewed articles were categorized according to their developmental domain. Three categories –literacy, numeric and miscellaneous emerged at the end of this pre-analysis. • The impact of technology use on mathematics skills of preschoolers was found positive. • Technology use to develop literacy skills of preschoolers was resulted in positively. • Contradictory results were detected concerning as impact of technology use on receptive word learning of preschoolers. Further research studies with different age groups are necessary about this issue. • 71% of reviewed studies (n=12) were media-comparison studies. • The sample sizes of reviewed articles were ranged from 9 (single subject case study) to 333 preschoolers aged between 3 to 6 years. The percentage of studies that have less than 50 participants was 59% (n=50). Further detailed results will be presented at the conference.
Burnett, C. (2010). Technology and literacy in early childhood educational settings: a review of research. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 10(3), 247–270. Blackwell, C. (2013). Teacher practices with mobile technology integrating tablet computers into the early childhood classroom. Journal of Education Research, 7(4), 231-255. Cassell, J. (2004). Towards a model of technology and literacy development: Story listening systems. Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, 25(1), 75-105. Cicconi, M. (2014). Vygotsky meets technology: A reinvention of collaboration in the early childhood mathematics classroom. Early Childhood Education Journal, 42(1), 57-65. Clements, D. H., & Sarama, J. (2003). Strip mining for gold: Research and policy in educational technology—A response to “Fool’s Gold”. AACE Journal, 11(1), 7-69. Cordes, C., and E. Miller. (2000). Fool’s Gold: A Critical Look at Computers in Childhood. New York: Alliance for Childhood. Kerckaert, S., Vanderlinde, R., & Braak, J. Van. (2015). The role of ICT in early childhood education : Scale development and research on ICT use and influencing factors. European Early Childhood Education Research Journal, 23(2), 183–199. Lankshear, C., & Knobel, M. (2003). New Technologies in Early Childhood Literacy Research: A Review of Research. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 3(1), 59–82. Lindahl, M. G., & Folkesson, A. (2012). ICT in preschool: Friend or Foe? The significance of norms in a changing practice. International Journal of Early Years Education, 20(4), 422- 436. Parette, H., Quensenberry, A., & Blum, C. (2010). Missing the boat with technology usage in early childhood settings: A 21st-century view of developmentally appropriate practice. Early Childhood Education Journal, 37(5), 335-343. Rosen, D. B., & Jaruszewicz, C. (2009). Developmentally appropriate technology use and early childhood teacher education. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 30(2), 162-171. Shifflet, R., Toledo, C. & Mattoon, C. (2012). Touch tablet surprises. Young Children, 67(3), 36- 41. McCarrick, K., & Li, X. (2007). Buried Treasure : The Impact of Computer Use on Young Children ’ s Social, Cognitive, Language Development and Motivation. AACE Journal, 15(1), 73–95. Vernadakis, N., Avgerinos, A., Tsitskari, E. & Zachopoulou, E. (2005). The use of computer-assisted instruction in preschool education: Making teaching meaningful. Early Childhood Education Journal, 33(2), p 99-104. Yelland, N. (2005). The future is now: A review of the literature on the use of computers in early childhood education. AACE Journal, 13(3), 201–232. Zomer, N. R., & Kay, R. H. (2016). Technology Use in Early Childhood Education : A Review of Literature. Journal of Educational Informatics, 1(March), 1–25.
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