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Naturally, children learn and explore their environment by inquiry (Wang et al, 2009). Therefore, they are generally interested in the physical activities where they can see the action and movement involved. The environment that the children play needs to promote their imaginations not in play opportunities but by the development of their own ideas (Sear, 2016). The computer technology has come in to offer a simpler means by which this domain and range of inquiry can be extended. There have been a growing number of the interactive games over the past decade as well as the educational software packages which have been implemented to facilitate early childhood education. It is also aimed at addressing a range of subjects including science, mathematics, language, reading, and social studies (Wang et al, 2009). The main goal of this early childhood education is enhancing the cognitive skills as well as the socialization of a child which will be of much help for the future success both in school and in adulthood (Hesterman, 2013).
Technology works hand in hand with natural methods in early children development. The largest percentage of loose parts should be made of natural materials like pebbles and wooden blocks which help children to develop a relationship and a connection with nature thus increasing their potential of making a scientific discovery through curiosity (Sear, 2016). However, with the modern technology, the lose parts can be presented to children in digital forms through tablet, digital games and other machines. The advantage of technology here is that it makes the exercise even more interesting thus motivating the children to continue playing and solving problems of different magnitudes. When loose parts are in digital form, there is no challenge of losing them nor is there a possibility of them wearing out. According to Sear (2016), the loose parts also known as open-ended materials are the best learning resources in the early childhood. This is because; they help the children in the development of their brain and skills in various aspects such as experimentation, problem-solving, hypothesizing, inquiry, research and investigating (Daly and Beloglovsky, 2014). Loose parts like pebbles do not have a defined or specific use and children should be allowed to interact with them and make various objects and patterns. They should be occasionally replenished or changed in order to give the children a different problem to solve hence invoking creativity and consistency.
The set-up of the playing materials can be used indoors and outdoors. They should be physically accessible to children where they should be placed to a place where they can reach them. This could be on the ground where they push, pull and also disfigure them. Also, they can be placed on a cardboard where children can try and make new shapes and arrangements. By doing so, they will make the children know that they can use them however and whenever they wish (Sear, 2016).
Finally, we shall look at the use of technology in the early child development. One of the functions that the technology enhances is the enrichment and structure problem contexts. In this case, problems are presented in contexts relating to the children’s day to day activities. This enhances the expert thinking and also inquiry problem domain in a child. The second function technology helps is by facilitating the utilization of the available resources by enabling access to various quality and prospective resources (Wang et al, 2009). By this utilization, they also enhance their creativity, competency, and skills of a child.
The use of technological softwares and interactive games at a younger age helps the children to make mistakes, solve the mistakes and ultimately learn the right way of doing things (Sear, 2016). There is a vivid connection between early childhood play methods and the decisions that the child makes at a later age. This is because the play methods support cognitive values which automatically help the children handle their tasks routinely enabling them to focus their attention on the most challenging tasks (Wang et al, 2009). They help the children to become aware of their thinking as well as social learning through collaboration with their peers (Sear, 2016). Besides the collaboration, the ICT also helps children to individualize learning in line with learning patterns, styles, progress, etc. (Hesterman, 2013). They also help a child to manipulate the existing and also in creating new visual representations. A child can also be aided by these technologies to conduct experiments and test the hypothesis as well as alternating solutions (Wang et al, 2009).
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