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Early Connections: Technology in Early Childhood Education

Developed by the Northwest Educational Technology Consortium, Early Connections is a resource website for parents, educators, and child-care providers.

The site is organized according to the settings where educators and care providers work with young children.

  • Child care—is a unique mixture of ages, developmental stages, schedules, and settings.
  • Preschool—offers children a variety of learning experiences from which to choose.
  • Kindergarten—deals with the whole child in the first year of "real school."
  • Primary grades—children in first through third grades are moving toward independence.
  • Before/after-school program—includes children of many ages with a wide range of skill levels.

Within each of the above areas, subtopics provide information relevant to that group.

  • Learning & Technology connects technology with the learning needs of children at this stage.
  • Technology & Curriculum ties effective uses of technology to the curriculum.
  • Classroom Arrangement defines elements for successful placement of computers and other technology in the classroom.
  • Software Selection provides guidance on how to select and evaluate software, as well as links to evaluation and review resources.
  • Health & Safety offers ergonomic and Internet guidelines for physical and online safety.
  • Hardware contains information on many different types of technology that can be used with young children and the things to consider when planning for technology.
  • Resources provides links to useful sources of information and research on technology use with young children.

The site also addresses common questions parents and educators have regarding young children and technology such as "When should children start using a computer?"and "What kind of software should I buy?"

Also valuable are the resources lists, which provide links to research, information, and best practices regarding technology and early childhood education.