The Uses of Technology to Support Early Childhood Practice: Professional Development and Informal Learning

Publication Date: April 21, 2015

Introduction

The purpose of the Use of Technology to Support Head Start Practice project was to review the knowledge base related to the use of technology to support the practice of early childhood professionals who work directly with children and families. The results were intended to fill a knowledge gap regarding what technologies are currently available to early childhood programs; how practitioners are using these technologies on a regular basis; and the barriers to and facilitators for practitioner use.

This research-to-practice brief, intended for early childhood program administrators, provides the findings from a review of technologies that directly support practitioners' “formal” professional development (e.g., through in-service programs or training on product-specific implementation and enrichment) and informal learning (e.g., independent learning and peer collaboration) (Topic Area 3). Sample professional development and informal learning products and programs that use these technologies are provided in a supplemental document linked below. In addition, the brief describes barriers to and facilitators of practitioners’ effective use of technology to support early childhood practice. This brief is purely descriptive of the technologies that are currently available and makes no recommendations or endorsements of individual technologies, products, or programs.

Note: Two versions of the supplemental Sample Product and Program Tables document are available below: One is formatted for on-screen reading and printing, while the other is fully accessible. The content of the two versions is identical.

Current as of: