Here, ICT advisor and author Harriet Price shares her top tips for embedding technology into continuous provision.
- All staff to work together on deciding upon manageable technology resources that can be freely available to children all of the time.
- It’s not about quantity but selecting resources that enable learning and can be managed within a play environment.
- Encourage independent access so that resources do not get put in a cupboard but used within play– rechargeable resources are easy to manage.
- Make a list of the chosen continuous provision for technology so that practitioners feel confident they know all the technology they need to know about and managers know what to commit to and budget for.
- Update the list with one or two resources chosen by all practitioners once a year whilst replacing old technology that has been superseded by better options.
- If you have introduced a resource but it isn’t working out, give up on it! Don’t put it in a cupboard for another day that never comes! It may be useful as part of enhanced provision for extra experiences and stimulation but otherwise give it away.
- Choose resources that can be embedded into the learning environment. Cameras, torches, remote control resources and recordable buttons/cards easily sit alongside children’s many experiences i.e. Bee-Bots in the construction area.
- Help children to manage the technology by knowing where to find it and where to put it away, everything should have a ‘home’.
- Introduce the technology with clear rules for sharing and turn taking. A simple sheet with picture rules such as ‘We use a sand timer to take turns’ will help all staff and children manage the technology.
- Model and extend uses. ‘Let’s see if we can drive these remote control cars to the garage you’ve made with blocks’.
Be playful and have fun!
With thanks to Harriet Price. Harriet has worked as a practitioner, head teacher, ICT advisor and later for National Strategies, where she rolled out technology uses in early years across the country. She is the author of “The really useful book of ICT in the Early Years”.