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is Curriculum Integration?
Integrate Technology into Early Childhood Classrooms?
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Materials can be designed for use prior to, during, or following the computer activity. Many children can relate to objects and concepts when they have manipulatives, figures or books with which to play. Off-computer materials may also be items which children can take home and share with their families.
Computer-related activities facilitate movement to computer activities. Some concepts will be easier for the children to understand because of their computer-related experiences. The child's first experience with the computer should be fun. Programs that respond to any key press or a mouse click offer an opportunity for instant success. Challenges can be made as children show intent for what they do and understand that they are in control of what the computer is doing.
Children with multiple disabilities can participate in computer-related activities. Children who are candidates for alternate input or switch control benefit by learning to use a switch with battery operated toys. Switches and toys can be sent home easily and are enjoyable. Appropriate switch types should be discussed with parents and a physical therapist. Once children have an idea of how and when to use the switch, they will be able to use the switch to operate programs at the computer.
There are many creative ways that software can be used other than is specified in the documentation. Early childhood staff should consider a program's use for each individual child since it is rare that a teacher can use a program in the same way with all of the children. To facilitate social and communication skills, children with similar IEP goals can be grouped together as partners or in a small group for computer activities; then periodically more experienced children can be grouped with novice computer children to act as peer tutors.
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