We have long been aware that the early evolution of children's social, emotional, and cognitive skills is crucial for lifelong learning and wellbeing. However, a stimulating debate continues regarding how to use technology when educating children of ten and younger.
Many instructors and parents view early-stage education academically and, therefore, rigidly. For instance, preschools usually stuff curricula and day-to-day learning with scholastic guidance that sharply hone a particular skill, such as reading, calculating, or working on textbook problems.
Rather than practicing a skills-only approach with young learners, educators can foster a teaching style that promotes their natural willingness and curiosity to learn and study instead by integrating technology to facilitate learning experiences from a young age.
Let's get a closer look at what is essential in early-stage education and the tools to assist children in developing lifelong intrusiveness to learn.
Young students are open to diverse learning experiences, and they also pick up new things more quickly. As the brain slowly evolves, so do the synapses, establishing connections and building habits that solidify with exposure and repetition. Moreover, young children are less biased. It means they are more welcoming towards new information and alternative reasoning.
Throughout these eight years, children develop the base for their future development. Children also develop the curiosity to learn the proper habits and practices to study. Once kids have these foundations to build on, it is more natural for them to gain skills of all kinds in the future.
Furnishing technological tools to youngsters from a tender age is a controversial issue. While most people are in favor of technology, others question its advantage to young children. However, reasonably using technology can deliver enormous benefits to children. For instance, if a school educates students about insects, touring a botanical garden is a convenient and significant experience. But, educators can't go to a zoo or other off-campus places every time they need to deliver a new learning experience. But with the aid of technological tools such as simulations, informative videos, and other digital sources, teachers can replicate real-life events daily and on a massive scale.
Throughout early education, technology can facilitate diverse learning experiences, stimulate children's curiosity, and develop their ability to study self-sufficiently.
While school content is theoretical and abstract, teachers can give children access to video materials, colorful interactive graphics, and educational apps. While audio-visual material seizes children's attention and makes complex theories more effortless to understand, using apps or web searches allows children to follow their learning path.
In preschool, kids should be able to explore, analyze, seek and experience things. Therefore, teachers should focus on comprehensive learning experiences that stimulate children's curiosity. For instance, when students have their first acquaintance with numbers, letters, and stories, teachers can employ technology to customize content while they are playing. Knowledgeable speakers offer gamified learning opportunities on how to spell words and how to calculate. Those games are endlessly repeatable, and they stimulate learners.
In elementary school, educators should begin giving structure to explorations and encourage children to accustom routines so that learning methods become formalized. These learning experiences can help children acquire new skills faster later on in life.
During that phase, teachers must establish learning routines and alternate those regularly with playtime. Technological simulations, such as friendly and intelligent robots, are well-devised to encourage a child's learning session to enable children to play and actively acquire new skills.
During the entire period of early education, it is crucial to help children develop their social and emotional abilities. Working in teams with peers will improve their empathy, communication skills, and skills to resolve social conflicts later. Sharing technological tools to work collectively in school, students learn excellent social skills such as playing with computers, apps, and simulations. They have to wait their turn, perceive their peers solving problems, and teach their class companions how to use their different technology tools.
Ultimately, children that grew up using various technological tools can use these learning experiences in their vocational future, as workplace experiences will become more and more technology-focused.
One way educators can apply to accomplish the goals of early education is project-based learning. So it is by implementing several workstations in a classroom where children can learn about a topic from numerous angles and use technology to create versatile learning experiences.
In preschool, educators can start by allowing children to switch between several niches in the classroom. For example, suppose the topic of the day is insects. In that case, children can shuffle between a painting corner where they can draw an insect they identify and a computer corner where they can solve digital quizzes to learn about insects' living habits, different appearances, and natural habitat.
In primary school, these projects can be more formalized. Let's take water management as an example. In one case, children can learn with computer simulations how water evaporates and falls as rain generally. In the second thematic area, children can learn their own water usage's impact on the environment. In the third instance, they can deep dive into how sewage treatment systems work, and so on.
Computer simulations in every corner enable children to manipulate certain conditions and experience the immediate effect of those changes. For example, learning about the natural cycle of water, children can learn to change the water temperature to witness its phase changes from liquid to ice and vice versa.
Each corner connects diverse tasks during project-based learning, such as logical reasoning, creative skills, and playtime. It helps children experience a complex concept by integrating knowledge points from various sources: A gift that becomes more vital for children every day as they grow into adults. Technology facilitates diverse and cross-sectional experiences and stimulates students to learn actively and self-sufficiently.
The ongoing digitization is an opportunity for us to reflect and look for new, technology-based learning opportunities in early-stage education.
Rather than shying away from technology, we should be integrating the appropriate tools early on to help implement educational methods more efficiently and support children in their upbringing the stablest way we can.
Several startups are blooming in the EdTech industry in recent times. One such is TBox, where Hugo Aguirre is the current development and education director. TBox assists and advises educational institutions by offering relevant, dynamic, and integrated learning experiences to learners.