Technology can mean many things to different people. I have always thought of technology as being new and revolutionary tools of the future. In my head I pictured wires, metal and electricity as being components of “technology”.
True technology is so much more than that.
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines technology as ” the use of science in industry, engineering, etc., to invent useful things or to solve problems” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2016). With this definition, it becomes apparent that technology is not just about laptops and smartphones, it is anything made or thought up by people.
In my CLD419 class, technology was introduced in the forms of chairs, paper, pencils, etc…
all of these tools never occurred in the natural world and were created from the minds of humans.
So when I say, “we need to get children and people to learn about technology”, am I just echoing things that are already known? Instead, I propose that we need to teach about embracing change and innovation instead of focusing on words such as “technology”.
The world is seemingly changing all of the time and with that I believe people need to be ready to adapt as well. It is not technology, but DIGITAL technology that needs to be the focus of peoples acceptance.
An article looking at the pros and cons of digital experiences states,”Such experiences shape the construction of a particular habitus. This suggests that early childhood settings need to be more embracing of new technologies – in this case computers – if they are to provide quality learning environments for the digital natives who are now entering them” (Zevenbergen, 2007, p.27).
So as educators here are some things that we can do to embrace new technology!
Find out what interests children – Blogs and other forms of social media such as Facebook, Tumblr, and Reddit are great places to start to be aware of trends and interests. Make digital activities meaningful and relevant!
Incorporate new technology into your life – I love using my Kobo reader to read books. I also have my Fitbit to track my exercise and health. Both of these things have enhanced my life and furthered my adaptation to the world of digital technology.
Think of ways that digital technology can be used as a tool in the classroom – Smartphones can be used for documentation (photographs, blogs etc…) , iPads can be used to practice printing or reading within the classroom and Smartboards can be utilized for circle time.
Good luck and have fun exploring all sorts of technology!
Merriam-Webster Dictionary (2016). Technology. Retrieved March 10, 2016, from http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/technology
Zevenbergen, R. (2007). Digital Natives Come to Preschool: Implications for early childhood practice.Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Ciec, 8(1), 19.
(all photographs used come from Pixabay a non-copyright, free image user)