Technology coaches create and support effective digital age learning environments to maximize the learning of all students.
3b – Maintain and manage a variety of digital tools and resources for teacher and student use in technology-rich learning environments
3d – Select, evaluate, and facilitate the use of adaptive and assistive technologies to support student learning
3f – Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure
Inquiry Question: What kind of digital tools can enhance kindergarten’s student learning? What factors need teacher to be focused when they are looking for the digital tools for younger students?
First Step into Digital World
Kindergarten is a crucial period for children to develop and form mindset and cognition. Children are growing up in the digital world, and it is educators responsibility to pave the path for them to meet the 21st century’s demands. Preschool teachers are also inspired to strive for exploring appropriate digital tools embedded into pedagogy to meet intrinsic characteristics of younger students to build connections between the real-world and digital world. Younger students develop a sense of initiative and creativity through exploring and using a variety of tools. They use crayons, blocks to create things to build an image of the world. We can use digital tools to make something impossible to be possible for young children, providing colorful, productive and meaningful ways to scaffold younger children to understand and touch the real world.
Build a Solid Foundation For Kindergarten Students
Digital tools and recourses should allow younger students to have authentic learning
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Fred Rogers Center state that “appropriate experiences with technology and media allow children to control the medium and the outcome of the experience, to explore the functionality of these tools, and pretend how they might be used in real life.” Early educators should mindfully determine what digital tools can be used in the classroom based on the Three C’s: the content, the context, and the needs of the individual child. The goal is to extend younger students authentic learning experiences to foster the ability to leverage technology wisely to develop cognition, explore real-world, and present themselves.
We always need to ensure that digital tools and resources get younger students thinking and questioning.
Young age students will always having curious and interests to lead deeper learning. Teachers need to make sure the digital tools and resources that can trigger young students to think and question and get them empowered to have independent learning.
Digital tools allow students to create artifacts
In kindergarten, we always have students who are shy and quiet cannot get engaged in learning activities. But in my iPad class, these students are active when they use digital tools to create artifacts collaboratively (animation, digital story) to demonstrate themselves. They can build confidence from interacting and sharing with peers and parents using digital tools to create. Use technology in effective and meaningful ways that can make young students be positive creators instead of passive consumers.
Digital tools allow teacher to track student learning process
It is important to create an environment from young age to experience independent learning with digital tools. The digital tool which has tracking feature can make teachers clearly on every student learning process. It will be possible to implement blended learning or flipped classroom to cultivate independent learning ability with digital tools from younger age.
Choose the Appropriate Tools
In the digital world, it always has digital tools thriving from time to time, which will overwhelm teachers to look for the right ones from the endless of resources. Common Sense Media provides reliable reviews and rating of digital tools in education sorted by different level of age. Teachers can get great resources as a recommendation from the Best Apps.
Whenever you are using digital tools, look at the elements of motivation for learning. The following characteristics are crucial for obtaining and sustaining interest and extended learning for young children:
Developmentally appropriate content: The content should inspire the young student to keep moving on and help them to connect with real-world
Childish interface: young students can control the functions of the digital tool easily
Wait time: Young students have limited patience. Don’t drain out their interests on longer loading time or processing time.
Incentives and interactive: can produce digital artifacts to present or share with others
Goal: have to have an innovative part of motivating the student to create
Evaluate Digital Tools
Whenever pilot new digital tools, teachers or tech coaches need to evaluate the effects on learning.
|Digital Tool Review|
Is the content presented in a clear way?
Dose the tool offer easy navigation?
Is the tool childishly pleasing?
Are there many distractive features in the content ?
What skills can learners practice? Are these skills meet learning goal?
How much control do learners have over the pace of learning?
Can users set their own learning goals?
Are there self-assessment opportunities?
Can teachers observe learners’ progress?
What opportunities are there for communication between learners?
What collaborative opportunities are there?
What kind of communities can develop?
Can learners be motivated to question more?
Can learners connect to real-world and solve real-world problems?
Can learners build right cognition of real-world?
What kind of final product can this tool present?
What internet connection does this tool need?
Is this tool compatible on other kinds of devices?
How to choose digital resources and tools for your classroom. Retrieved from
How we nurture children hasn’t changed, even if tools has become digital. Retrieved from https://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/commentary-how-we-nurture-children-hasn-t-changed-even-if-tools-9275330
Selected examples of effective classroom practice involving technology tools and interactive media. Retrieved from https://www.naeyc.org/sites/default/files/globally-shared/downloads/PDFs/resources/topics/PS_technology_Examples.pdf
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Zielezinski, M. (2016). What 7 factors should educators consider when choosing digital tools for underserved students? Retrieved from