ICT is a broad term referring to a wide range of digital technologies. In early childhood education it typically is used to denote not just hardware and software, but also the digital literacies and competencies that both young people and teachers require.
ICT is becoming increasingly prevalent in children’s lives as well as in educational policy and practice. There is a growing body of research evidence around the dangers of too much screen time for young children. As a result, it is essential that teachers think carefully about how, why and when they utilise ICT with children.
The research base on ICT in ECE currently is limited in scope and quality. However, there is a growing body of research on the impact of ICT on children’s development and wellbeing (not exclusively focused on the ECE setting).
It is essential that teachers think carefully about how and why they are utilising ICT in their practice and with children. Effective pedagogy, together with guidelines on safe levels of use, should guide ICT use in centres. Research suggests that screen-time should be minimised with young children, devises should not take the place of social interaction or teachers and teaching, and many so-called educational apps are not as educational as they are claimed to be.
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