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March 28, 2021

Digital Technologies for Childhood Education Kinderjahre

Why digital technologies are vital for early childhood education – now more than ever

by Kinderjahre

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Why digital technologies are vital for early childhood education – now more than ever

Science has long been showing that digital technology can offer powerful tools for learning (Burns/Gottschalk 2020: 9).

Yet, in practice, parents and teachers are often confronted with a lack of knowledge.

What is it that makes information and communication technologies so promising in learning environments?

Two answers stand out from the rest.

  1. In pandemic times, children can hugely benefit from virtual learning

Covid-19 and the accompanying sanitary crisis have stimulated a huge debate about the pros and cons of virtual learning.

Despite an often-difficult implementation process, studies show that it may counteract some of the negative effects of isolation (Champeaux et al. 2020: 21).

Moreover, virtual learning spaces seem to equip students with the necessary skills for today’s and future job markets (Miranda 2020).

Yet, to reap those potential benefits, children should “have a facilitator or mentor on hand, someone to help with the technology and focus their attention” (Carey 2020).

Our educational platform PAIGE offers a way of putting these findings into practice: it serves as a digital tool that facilitates constant communication between all people that are important for a child’s development.

  1. Digital technologies allow for greater integration through personalized education

Personalized education offers a wide range of possibilities to teachers, parents, and children.

Most importantly, it opens up a way for greater integration because it shifts the focus towards an educational approach “that is relevant for each individual and not just a selected few” (Kucirkova 2017: 35).

For this shift to be successful, science suggests “keeping personalized education varied and open to the joint influence of a network of people” (Kucirkova 2017: 35).

Moreover, it is important to acknowledge that “technology-enabled personalized education can mean many different things in practice” (Kucirkova 2017: 40).

Here, too, PAIGE can serve as a tool to turn possibilities into reality – it encourages constant network communication and offers a way to adapt and personalize education to different sites, allowing for customized functionalities according to individual needs.

PAIGE thus shows the huge potential of digital technologies for early childhood education –

all whilst keeping in mind that the optimal learning moment is best achieved through a balance between individual and collective endeavors (Kucirkova 2017: 170).

Sources:

Burns, T./Gottschalk, F. (2020). Education in the Digital Age: Healthy and Happy Children. Paris: OECD Publishing.
Carey, B. (2020). What We’re Learning About Online Learning. New York: New York Times.
Champeaux, H./Piccoli, L./Mangiavacchi, L./Marchetta, F. (2020). Learning at Home: Distance Learning Solutions and Child Development during the COVID-19 Lockdown. Bonn: IZA – Institute of Labor Economics.
Kucirkova, N. (2017). Digital Personalization in Early Childhood: Impact on Childhood. London: Bloomsbury Academic.
Miranda, G. (2020). The unexpected benefits of virtual education. Geneva: World Economic Forum.

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