To use digital tools effectively in the early learning classroom, teachers should first consider their class and their goals before selecting any device, software, or app—including content and age appropriateness. They should also explain how to care for and use devices before allowing children to interact with them.
Next, it is essential that teachers build and support relationships, ensuring that technology does not replace opportunities for teacher-student and student-student interactions. As students are using devices, instructors should consider asking them open-ended questions about what they are doing while they are using the technology and encourage them to connect it to other classroom experiences. Another effective use of technology is as a tool to communicate with the families of children in the class.
Also, teachers should encourage collaboration, helping students to share their technology-based learning experiences with teachers, families, and other children in the classroom. Instructors should also have children use digital resources collaboratively, rather than just on their own. Making connections to non-digital learning experiences is also helpful.
Finally, the authors stress the value of looking for opportunities that allow children to be creative with digital tools, not just consumers of digital content. This process should also emphasize the inclusion of culturally responsive materials that connect to the diversity of cultures and values in the classroom.