Two projects at the Center for Best Practices in Early Childhood have created the free online workshops described below. Funding for the workshops was provided by the U.S. Department of Education through the Steppingstones of Technology program.
Interactive Technology Literacy Curriculum Online, or ITLC Online, contains six online workshops that focus on using technology to promote emergent literacy. Content for these workshops is based on the Center's Interactive Technology Literacy Curriculum. The workshops are intended for early childhood staff and families interested in learning how technology can be used to help young children develop early literacy skills. Adaptations to ensure all children's participation in literacy activities are addressed throughout the website. Technology activities, resources, and articles can be printed and used at school or home.
- The Literacy Foundations workshop provides an overview of literacy development in young children including oral language, emergent reading development, and stages in early writing.
- The Literacy Environments workshop has helpful guidelines for designing a literacy-rich environment with a reading, writing, art, and technology center are the focus of this workshop. Factors to consider for arranging and managing the center are addressed.
- The Children's Software workshop contains techniques to evaluate software with special attention to levels of interactivity and modifications to meet individual needs are included in this workshop. An evaluation guide and recommendations for software are provided.
- The Technology Integration workshop provides strategies and activities for integrating technology into the curriculum to promote emergent literacy. An integration plan format and sample curriculum activities are included.
- The Authoring Software workshop focuses on software which gives children, educators, and families the ability to create books, customized activities and overlays. Application ideas and sample products are provided.
- The Literacy Assessment workshop addresses the use of technology as a tool for documenting children's learning. Software, equipment, and activities for creating electronic portfolios and computer products are included.
The Early Childhood Technology Integrated Educational System, or EC-TIIS, (pronounced eee-see-ties) provides nine online workshops, which focus on the use of technology as a tool to assist young children with disabilities in achieving developmental goals. The workshops are intended for early childhood staff, families, and preservice personnel interested in learning how technology can equalize opportunities for young children. Certificates of completion, Illinois CPDUs, and CEUs from Western Illinois University are available upon for the following workshops.
- The Adaptations workshop provides information on a variety of adaptive input methods, portable communication devices, and customized activities for young children.
- The Computer Environment workshop offers strategies for designing and adapting the physical environment, a checklist of considerations for setting up the computer center, and ideas for managing computer time.
- The Curriculum Integration workshop offers ideas for integrating technology into the early childhood curriculum, including a format for activity planning and a variety of classroom examples.
- The Emergent Literacy workshop contains information on curriculum applications, adaptations, assessment techniques, and family involvement procedures for using technology to support young children's emergent literacy development.
- The Expressive Arts workshop offers techniques for incorporating technology into expressive arts for young children, including environmental design considerations, curriculum activities, and adaptations.
- The Family Participation workshop discusses levels of participation, workshop strategies, and resources to assist families in using technology with their young children.
- The Math, Science, and Social Studies workshop provides strategies for designing computer activities, off-computer materials, and adaptations to help young children meet math, science, and social studies early learning standards.
- The Software workshop contains considerations for selecting developmentally appropriate software, including evaluation factors, software classifications, and suggestions for software to use with classroom themes and children's learning preferences.
- The Technology Assessment workshop contains procedures for using a team process to assess a young child's technology needs and provides a case study.
For further information about either the ITLC Online or EC-TIIS workshops, contact Linda Robinson, Project Director, at L-Robinson1@wiu.edu.