Research into .....
What is the effect of blending technology into the Kindergarten classroom?
Background and Need
In the field of education we need to look at the needs of students who are entering kindergarten. Teachers are finding that early exposure to technology better prepares children to develop 21st century skills (Transform Lives) and to continue with the fast growing expectations within the school setting. There is a need for young children to have exposure to basic digital literacy in Kindergarten. Naeyc has incorporated technology with young learners in mind. They have made available a wide range of digital tools that are developmentally appropriate for early childhood education. Such tools include STEM kits, professional development opportunities with an emphasis on technology and online forums where educators reflect on teaching practices (Naeyc). The California Common Core Standards also includes a varied technology scope and sequence of skills which are required to be introduced as early as the Kindergarten level. Currently The Hebrew Day School uses technology in meaningful and developmentally appropriate ways. The lower school uses iPads to develop reading and writing strategies through online reading and writing programs as well as the use of applications. All middle school students are provided with a chromebook which is used for research and writing. In addition the Kindergarten class and middle school work together through a buddy system to write their own stories and retrieve pictures from the internet. In the Kindergarten classroom the teacher uses technology to enhance curriculum and the learning experience as appropriate. The Hebrew Day School is working toward creating a continuum to further align with 21st Century learning skills and using the tools and devices available. The experiment which will be conducted in the Kindergarten classroom will focus on the effect of implementing the Blended Learning approach. Essential Question: What is the effect of bringing technology into the Kindergarten classroom?
Learning should encourage children to engage in their learning, connect learning to real life experiences and guide children to think critically and problem solve. John Dewey was a philosopher with great insight into how children learn. He understood that children learn best by actively participating in their education and by guiding children’s learning based on their interests.
Educators at all levels should be encouraged to support student interest, to encourage a critical exploration of their environment and to thoughtfully challenge students. Blended learning is a teaching method that would support students to become investigators of the world around them. Professional development and an open mind are necessary tools to supporting teacher growth and to keep moving with society's demands.
A kindergarten teacher may consider how to best implement a blended learning environment which connects and relates to the kindergarten child’s interests, curiosities and world. Integrating technology such as iPads into the Kindergarten classroom may provide meaningful opportunities to differentiate student learning and improve literacy skills. Professional development for educators will have great benefits when teacher children of the 21st century. The purpose of the project is to understand the benefits of a Blended Learning environment in the Kindergarten classroom, differentiation and the importance of professional development for educators.