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Technology in the EYFS It’s not just computers! emma.goto@winchester.ac.uk


Aims of todays session Today is a real taster – A short session to get you thinking! By the end of the session you should have some ideas about: • Why you might use ICT in the Early Years • Some of the kind of activities and resources you might use


Your experiences of Technology in EYFS • Talk on your tables about good uses of technology you have seen in EYFS!


Should we be using technology in the EYFS? ‘I argue that there are very compelling reasons to conclude that ICT technologies are harmful for young children’s development and learning.’ (House, 2012: p. 105)

‘The world we’ve created is damaging our children’s brains.’ (Palmer, 2006: p. 308)


Entitlement From the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage

‘Technology: children recognise that a range of technology is used in places such as homes and schools. They select and use technology for particular purposes.’ (DFE, 2012: p. 9)


It’s part of the society we live in


ICT and Role Play What are these children learning? Role play picture


• • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Representing their experiences through play Taking on a role in their play Acting out experiences with other people Attending to and taking account of what others say Developing two-channelled attention Listening and responding to ideas expressed by others Using language to imagine and recreate roles and experiences in play situations Developing an understanding that information can be retrieved from computers Beginning to use the vocabulary involved in adding and subtracting Beginning to use everyday language relating to money Describing relative position such as ‘behind’ or ‘next to’ Starting to recognise that a range of technologies is used in places such as homes and schools Selects appropriate resources and adapts work where necessary Plays alongside others who are engaged in the same theme


ICT and Role-Play By imitating and trying things out children learn! Ideas to try: • Use video clips / CD-Roms / Websites to launch role play – e.g. Simple City • Take photos of ICT equipment in the real world • Use old ICT equipment in the role-play area – e.g. old mobile or keyboard • Use functioning ICT equipment – e.g. calculator or even build round the computer! • Junk modelling – make ICT equipment e.g. chip and pin • Use ICT equipment to produce resources for the role-play area e.g. cameras, scanner and computer to make menu


The teacher as a model Model good ICT use and children will imitate! ‘Practitioners can share their experiences of using ICT for a purpose, for example showing children how they stay in touch with a friend who lives abroad.’ (Stancer 2012: p. 19)


Technology for communication • It’s not just about the computer!


Technology for communication • One of the real strengths of ICT is how it enhances communication! • Can help children access the curriculum • Can support emergent readers and writers


Developing creativity Santa picture Video – Stop frame animation


Control Give children a range of opportunities to explore controlling devices and making things happen – this develops early programming skills!


Children have different pre-school experiences We need to build on these like we do experiences in over areas! • Give children equipment – ensure they understand safety requirements! • Observe – What can they already do? • Talk to them – What do they know? • Develop their skills and capability!


Why Play? ‘Being told something is just not the same as finding out for oneself!’ (Moyles 2012: p. 54)

‘But anything outside the realm of children’s first hand, play experiences is difficult for them to understand in the early years and, therefore, experiences presented to children should (1) have a basis in something they can do for themselves, and (2) be playful.’ (Moyles 2012: p. 54)


ICT and Play ‘We know that confidence gained from playing with ICT will support the development of ICT capability in more formal contexts as the child gets older.’ (Morgan & Siraj-Blatchford 2013: p. 17)

‘Findings from the study would recommend that the blend of continuous, enhanced and focused provision is an effective means of integrating computer use within a play-based curriculum.’ (Howard, Miles & Rees-Davies 2012: p. 187)


What could be in our EYFS ICT toolkit? ‘…a range of ICT equipment, functioning and non-functioning (for role play situations) is needed. As well as laptops and handheld computers (and touchscreen devices such as iPad) and age-specific software, EY settings also need a variety of ICT resources that could include: • • • • • • •

Digital cameras / video recorders (still images and movies) Good Internet connection – access to email Microphones (or digital recorders – including on portable devices) Programmable toys Remote control toys Walkie-talkies Electronic microscope’

(Beauchamp 2012: p. 71)


Seven General Principles of ICT in the Early Years - Datec ‘1. Ensure an educational purpose 2. Encourage collaboration 3. Integrate with other aspects of the curriculum 4. Ensure the child is in control 5. Choose applications that are transparent 6. Avoid applications containing violence or stereotyping 7. Be aware of health and safety issues Parental involvement should also go hand-in-hand with these.’ (Datec 2001: p. 8)


Make Tools Accessible ‘By making ICT a daily part of children’s experience, children accommodate technology in the same way as they do paints, crayons or other ‘tools’. Such an approach avoids the ‘feast or famine principle’. When technology is available intermittently, children ‘consume’ the experience as much as possible; when it is regularly on offer they learn to accommodate it as another tool for learning.’ (Langston 2013: p. 16)


Develop independence! Logging on video


Remember - It’s the Teaching not the Tech! ‘As a staff we have received awards and accolades for our innovative use of ICT within the Early Years curriculum, but it is the imagination of the staff and their extensive experience and knowledge as applied through the equipment which has made our success in this area. Not the equipment but our use of it!’ (Kennington and Meaton 2009: p. 6)


Bibliography • •

Beauchamp, G. (2012) ICT in the Primary School: From Pedagogy to Practice. Harlow: Pearson Education Limited DATEC (2001) Guidance for Practitioners on Appropriate Technology Education in Early Childhood [online] http:// www.datec.org.uk/curricguide.htm (accessed 1.1.14) DFE (2012) Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage [online] http:// media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/pdf/eyfs%20statutory%20framework%20m (accessed 13.2.14) House, R. (2012) ‘The inappropriateness of ICT in early childhood: arguments from philosophy, pedagogy and developmental research’ in: S. Suggate & E. Reese, (ed) Contemporary Debates in Childhood Education and Development. Abingdon: Routledge


Bibliography •

• •

Howard, J., Miles, G. & Rees-Davies, L, (2012), 'Computer use within a play-based early years curriculum', International Journal Of Early Years Education, 20, 2, pp. 175-189, Accessed through the UoW Library Catalogue at: http://eds.b.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=072de180-1fe9-45e1 (accessed 1.1.14) Kennington, L. & Meaton, J. (2009) ‘Integrating ICT into the Early Years curriculum’ in: H. Price, (ed) The Really Useful Book of ICT in the Early Years. Abingdon: Routledge Langston, A. (2013) ‘All about ….digital journeys’, Nursery World, 112, 4328, pp. 16-20 Morgan, A. & Siraj-Blatchford, J. (2013) Using ICT in the Early Years: Parents and Practitioners in Partnership. London: Practical Pre-School Books


Bibliography • • •

Moyles, J. (2012) A to Z of Play in Early Childhood. Maidenhead: Open University Press Palmer, S. (2006) Toxic Childhood: How the modern world is damaging our children and what we can do about it. London: Orion Stancer, A. (2012) ‘ICT in early years education’, E-Learning Update, 23, pp. 18-20, Accessed through the UoW Library Catalogue at: http:// eds.a.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=c28424fc-51f7-42e4-af4f-69 (accessed 1.1.14)


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