Preschoolers' Use of Technology in the Classroom

Citation data:

Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies

Publication Year:
2011
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Repository URL:
https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/dissertations/954; https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1953&context=dissertations
Author(s):
Estes-Del Re, Re, Darlene M.
Publisher(s):
ScholarWorks
Tags:
pre-elementary; early childhood; kindergarten teacher education;instructional media design; Instructional Media Design; Pre-Elementary, Early Childhood, Kindergarten Teacher Education
thesis / dissertation description
Almost from birth, children are immersed in a technologically rich world yet they often enter preschools that offer little to no use of technology. Preschool learning is tied to more traditional forms of reading and writing; this may be inconsistent with the ways children are learning at home and will learn in elementary school. Despite growing interest in creating learning environments that better mirror the technological experiences of the home, there is a significant gap in current research about how learning is affected in preschool environments designed with multiple forms of technology. This qualitative single case study was designed to explore children's preferred uses of technology for learning in a Montessori preschool. The study was supported by the New London Group's theory of multiliteracies and the model of the Montessori method. Data were collected using pre and post teacher interviews, observations, and student generated video and audio recordings of learning activities. Data were coded to form preliminary categories, and open coding was used to generate themes. The findings revealed that children preferred to use technology to express ideas, to write stories, and to visually document and share their learning experiences with others. When technology was made readily available for learning, children became confident, independent, and responsible users. The inclusion of technology also increased learning and encouraged children to socially interact through new media. Implications for social change include the implementation of learning tools that are more closely aligned with those used in future schooling which may result in higher achievement.