Getting Early Childhood Educators Up and Running: Creating Strong Technology Curators, Facilitators, Guides, and Users

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This policy brief from Rand Corporation addresses the use of technology in early childhood education. It is critical for children to develop Digital Literacy, the ability to understand and use technology, in order to succeed in school and in future careers. However, some children lack access to technology, particularly if they come from low-income backgrounds. Providing access to technology in early childhood settings may help to bridge the digital divide before it negatively impacts student learning. Before early childhood educators integrate technology into their programming, though, there are many considerations–from developmentally appropriate usage to the logistics of implementation. This brief explores potential barriers that prevent early childhood providers from successfully integrating technology into their programming. It also explores several strategies for overcoming these obstacles, including: providing proper training and time for professional development, building learning communities that can enhance learning, and voicing the specific needs of early childhood providers a new technologies are developed.