Monday, December 30, 2013

Technology and Toddlers

     So how much technology is too much technology when we are talking about the preschool and early childhood set?  While we as adults are tethered to our devices and most of the adolescents we know are socially connected 24/7, when it comes to our youngest learners, we encounter push back about screen-time from a large segment of early childhood educators, citing developmentally appropriate practices and the need to foster play, social interaction and emotional development.  Can technology do the same thing (or better) than blocks, the kitchen center, or the dramatic play center?
     When you watch the videos on YouTube of babies trying to swipe a magazine with their fingers, or toddlers who can unlock their parent's iPhone to watch videos, you have to wonder, should we be leveraging and fostering technology use that seems so innate with these young kids or should we maybe just bury our heads in the sand and maybe all this will just go away?
     As a boomer who was blown way when we got our first Pong videogame, I never could have envisioned the things that are now possible as a result of technology innovations.  What the future holds, who knows?  One thing we can be sure of, technology will become more ubiquitous and not something you do, but rather something you are.  No, I'm not talking about implanted chips (although that is already happening), I'm talking about one's digital footprint- how we identify ourselves and more importantly how we connect and collaborate with others.   Sounds like social interaction and play to me, no? So, maybe we just need to rethink how we should be using technology with our youngest learners recognizing that we have an obligation to be laying the groundwork for what they will build on in the future.
     So the reason for this post - I'm looking for folks out there who are using technology with young children in innovative ways.  Do you have some unique ways you are developing parallel and collaborative play, fostering social interaction and collaboration skills through VOIP, building background through virtual field trips, etc. I am doing a presentation in Chicago at the end of January and would love to be able to share some stories from the field.  Thanks in advance for any support you provide and feel free to email me at

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas and......

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all of my fellow techies, nerds and geeks who have shown an interest in the work I have posted over the last three years.  I continue to be amazed and energized by the fact that I have received over 36,000 page views since I started this blog.  In the past year, I have come to realize that while I am a very good educator, as a blogger, I pretty much suck.   I wish I had more profound thoughts, more frequent revelations, interesting posts, or something.  Life continues to get in the way.  And those kids...  Anyway, thanks for continuing to follow and read my blog. I promise in the New Year, to try to be more cerebral, or at least post on a more regular basis.  That's not a resolution, just something I am going to try to do.  Enjoy your Christmas......

Saturday, December 7, 2013

App Rubric Dissertation Available

I've got some good news and some bad news.  The bad news first.  My dissertation will not be posted online through ProQuest until sometime in March.  The good news?  I would be more than happy to share the PDF of my dissertation with anyone who might be interested in reviewing my research.  For the low price of $19.99 plus shipping and handling you too can get your hands on a copy of this research, but wait, if you act now, we will send you a second copy for free.  Just pay separate shipping and handling.  If you haven't closed the window yet, are still reading, and have followed my work over the years, you will have figured out that I am only kidding.  It's free, like everything else I have posted on my blog with the caveat that my intellectual property rights be observed.  Please note the ® on the front page of the dissertation.  Simply send me an email request at and assuming both of our email accounts can handle the file size, it will be on it's way asap.  Thanks for continuing to follow my blog and more importantly, for spreading the news and changing the world......