Technology Policy (QA7)

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Woodlands - Technology Policy 

About this policy

Technology and interactive media are here to stay. Young children live in a world of interactive media. They are growing up at ease with digital devices that are rapidly becoming the tools of the culture at home, at school, at work, and in the community (Kerawalla & Crook 2002; Calvert et al. 2005; National Institute for Literacy 2008; Buckleitner 2009; Lisenbee 2009; Berson & Berson 2010; Chiong & Shuler 2010; Couse & Chen 2010; Rideout, Lauricella, & Wartella 2011). 

Technology tools for communication, collaboration, social networking, and user-generated content have transformed mainstream culture. In particular, these tools have transformed how parents and families manage their daily lives and seek out entertainment, how teachers use materials in the classroom with young children and communicate with parents and families, and how we deliver teacher education and professional development (Rideout, Vandewater, & Wartella 2003; Roberts & Foehr 2004; Rideout & Hamel 2006; Rideout 2007; Foundation for Excellence in Education 2010; Gutnick et al. 2010; Barron et al. 2011; Jackson 2011a, 2011b; Wahi et al. 2011). The pace of change is so rapid that society is experiencing a disruption almost as significant as when there was a shift from oral language to print literacy, and again when the printing press expanded access to books and the printed word. 

The shift to new media literacies and the need for digital literacy that encompasses both technology and media literacy will continue to shape the world in which young children are developing and learning (Linebarger & Piotrowski 2009; Flewitt 2011; Alper n.d.).

 

National Quality Standard (NQS)

Quality Area 1: Educational program and practice 

1.1.1

Approved learning framework 

Curriculum decision-making contributes to each child’s learning and development outcomes in relation to their identity, connection with community, wellbeing, confidence as learners, and effectiveness as communicators.

1.1.3

Program learning opportunities 

All aspects of the program, including routines, are organised in ways that maximise opportunities for each child’s learning.

 

Education and Care Services National Regulations

Children (Education and Care Services) National Law NSW

727

Confidentiality of records kept by an approved provider

 

181-184

Confidentiality and storage of records

 


Related Policies

Education Curriculum and Learning Policy

National Quality Framework Policy

 

Scope

This policy applies to children, families, staff, management, and visitors of the Service.

Technology and Communication

In early childhood settings, technology can be used to strengthen relationships between early educators and family members. For example, digital portfolios documenting student work through photos, audio, and video recordings enable teachers to share what children are learning in class with families more often and more informally than is possible in traditional school-based conferences.  

This allows parents to track their child’s progress, provides more opportunities for them to validate their child’s efforts and accomplishments, and opens up opportunities for the parents to engage their child about their learning to reinforce or supplement it. In addition to using e-mail, text messages, and social media to make communication between early educators and families easier, technology can also be used to provide information and coaching to parents to reinforce at home what is learned at school. 

In fact, according to the HHS report, Uses of Technology to Support Early Childhood Practice, 40% of parent, family, and community engagement (PFCE) products used video technology to model ideal parent behaviors or coach a parent’s behavior. An additional 40% of PFCE products were used to present parents with educational materials. Technology has tremendous potential to strengthen communication and connection between families and early educators to the benefit of children.

 

Purpose

Provide guiding principles for early educators, early learning programs, and families on the use of technology by young children to support them in making informed choices.

  • Guiding Principle 1: Technology—when used appropriately—can be a tool for learning.
  • Guiding Principle 2: Technology should be used to increase access to learning opportunities for all children.
  • Guiding Principle 3: Technology may be used to strengthen relationships among parents, families, early educators, and young children.
  • Guiding Principle 4: Technology is more effective for learning when adults and peers interact or co-view with young children.

 

Implementation

Management/Nominated Supervisor/ Responsible Person will:

  • Ensure educators understand how does technology helps children learn, engage, express, imagine, or explore?
  • Ensure that the kinds of social interactions (such as conversations with parents or peers) are happening before, during, and after the use of the technology? Does it complement, and not interrupt, children’s learning experiences and natural play patterns?
  • Ensure that each individual child is considered for their own growth and development? Is this technology an appropriate match with this child’s needs, abilities, interests, and development stage?
  • Ensure for low-income children who may not have access to devices or the internet at home, that early childhood settings provides opportunities to learn how to use these tools more actively.

 Educators will

  • Educators should keep in mind the developmental levels of children when using technology for early learning. That is, they first should consider what is best for healthy child development and then consider how technology can help early learners achieve learning outcomes. Technology should never be used for technology’s sake. Instead, it should only be used for learning and meeting developmental objectives, which can include being used as a tool during play.
  • When technology is used in early learning settings, it should be integrated into the learning program and used in rotation with other learning tools such as art materials, writing materials, play materials, and books, and should give early learners an opportunity for self-expression without replacing other classroom learning materials.
  • There are additional considerations for educators when technology is used, such as whether a particular device will displace interactions with teachers or peers or whether a device has features that would distract from learning. 
  • Educators should consider the overall use of technology throughout a child’s day and week, and adhere to recommended guidelines for active lifestyles, in partnership with families. 
  • As early learners reach an appropriate age to use technology more independently, they must be taught about cyber safety, including the need to protect and not share personal information on the internet, the goals and influence of advertisements, and the need for caution when clicking on links.  These skills are particularly important for older children who may be using a parent’s device unsupervised. 
  • Early childhood educators and administrators should ensure that the proper filters and firewalls are in place so children cannot access materials that are not approved for a school setting.

What parents can do

Adults should strive to provide balance and moderation when using technology with children. They should set limits that are developmentally appropriate and meet the needs of their children and family. When introducing technology to children, adults should model behaviors such as using technology to promote positive interaction instead of allowing it to interfere with interactions, designating and enforcing face-to-face time that is free of interruptions, and using technology together before allowing children to use it independently.

 

Source 

  • Education and Care Services National Regulations 
  • National Quality Standard
  • Early Years Learning Framework 
  • Early Childhood Australia (ECA). Digital Business Kit: Educative role of digital technology.
  • Guiding Principles for Use of Technology with Early Learners

 

Review

Date Reviewed 

Modifications

Next Policy Review Date 

January 2020

Branding and formatting changed to match others

Related policy links added

October 2020

 

 

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