ERIC Number: ED424998
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1998-Dec
"But How Do We Use It?": Discovering Hidden Barriers and Unanticipated Successes in Integrating Computers in a Preschool Curriculum.
Groves, Melissa; Jarnigan, Michele; Eller, Kendra
This paper describes the integration of computers into two preschool classrooms in the Child Development Laboratories at the University of Tennessee. Before the placement of the computers in fall 1996, conversations with teachers revealed concerns about how best to use the computers. As a result of these discussions, a plan for training and evaluation was developed that focused on how to increase teachers' familiarity and comfort with the technology. Shortly thereafter, hardware and software were purchased, and training was initiated. Observation of the classrooms in spring 1997 revealed unintended outcomes and effects. Even with an ongoing training plan for the computers in place, teachers struggled with the integration of the computers in the curriculum. On the positive side, the computer center became a significant parental interest and a place of frequent parent-teacher communication. Hence, as teachers became comfortable with the use of the computers into their classrooms, they also focused on how to use the technology as a tool for child observation and how to share that information with the children's families. A plan for integrating the computers into the whole curriculum still needs to be developed. The major challenge has been finding the time and resources to use computers effectively. Only continued planning, evaluation, and reevaluation will allow for the full and optimal use of computers in the early childhood setting. The paper concludes with two appendices: (1) "Instructional Technology Standards for Teacher Licensure in the State of Tennessee" and (2) "Some Examples of Teacher Ideas for Extension of Software Activities." (LPP)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Proceedings of the Families, Technology, and Education Conference (Chicago, IL, October 30-November 1, 1997); see PS 027 175.