This paper describes the practical ways a south Texas university incorporated technology into the early childhood teacher preparation program. The university serves a large number of first generation Latino college students and non-traditional students with varying degrees of experience with technology. However, by scaffolding lessons based on the students’ prior experiences with and knowledge of various technologies it allowed them to take risks with new software and hardware without overwhelming them.
A plan was implemented to align degree coursework and at the same time, embed technology lessons and activities into each of the Early Childhood Education offering. In lower division courses for freshmen and sophomores, the emphasis was on presentation and communication tools. When students reached their upper-division courses they were introduced to virtual worlds, website creation, web conferencing tools and other valuable technologies for educators. Upon completion of the Early Childhood Education program all students would have the basic knowledge and skills associated with the effective use of informational and instructional technologies in the classroom.
The Early Childhood Education program continues to evolve and grow as faculty keeps an eye toward the future. Plans are underway to develop an early childhood special education course that could be the place where students would develop an understanding of assistive technologies in the inclusive early childhood classroom setting.
|Keywords:||Education, Early Childhood Education, Teacher Preparation, University, Informational Technology, Instructional Technology|
Assistant Professor, Curriculum & Instruction/Early Childhood Education, Texas A&M International University, Laredo, TX, USA
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