ERIC Number: ED376991
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994-Dec
Integrate, Don't Isolate! Computers in the Early Childhood Curriculum. ERIC Digest.
Davis, Bernadette Caruso; Shade, Daniel D.
When computers are relegated to a single room in a school where children use them only occasionally, their potential impact on children's learning is minimized. When computers are integrated into the curriculum and are applied to real problems, however, children gain the ability to use computers as natural tools for learning. For example, when a teacher chooses a topic for an integrated study project, the class will define relevant concepts related to that topic and choose activities to explore those concepts. Sometimes computers will be the most appropriate tool for exploring the concepts. As they work on their project, children can use computer programs to construct stories with pictures, labels, and voice recordings; gather information from CD-ROM encyclopedias; compose and illustrate stories; and write letters to experts. Children can also use microworlds, or programs that help them discover concepts and cause-effect relationships, and serve as a bridge between hands-on experience and abstract learning. Teachers help children learn in computer-enriched classrooms by filling several roles. Initially, teachers serve as instructors to children in the use of computers. Later, as children gain more experience, the teacher's role moves to that of a coach. By using computers themselves, teachers can also serve as models to children Finally, teachers must be critics of computer software, learning to select the best software to enhance children's development. In all cases, teachers must remember that without proper integration of computers into the curriculum, the benefits of technology to children's learning cannot be fully achieved. Contains 12 references. (BC)
Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; ERIC Publications; ERIC Digests in Full Text
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, Urbana, IL.