Digital Learning Tips for Early Childhood Education
by Tara Baliat | July 15, 2020
Are you wondering what your early childhood classroom or program is going to look like this school year? Well, you are not alone! Whether you have in-person classes or use a virtual or hybrid learning approach will likely depend on where you live and the impact of COVID-19 in your area.
Here are some tips for navigating developmentally appropriate digital learning as you prepare for the upcoming school year.
HOW TO PARTNER WITH FAMILIES
- Communicate and collaborate frequently with families in order to establish and maintain a strong relationship.
- Understand the diverse needs of your families. Families may have limited access to the internet or digital devices; lack the time required to support active learning at home; or may be experiencing financial challenges, food insecurity, or health-related issues.
- Create a recommended daily routine for families to follow at home. Maintaining a predictable schedule helps children feel secure and gives them a sense of control. Schedules should be flexible to accommodate individual family needs.
- Provide resources and activities that support developmentally appropriate active learning at home. Limit activities and materials to things commonly found around the home. You can download activities and strategies to share with families here.
HOW TO STAY CONNECTED WITH CHILDREN
- Set up virtual classrooms, send videos of different parts of the HighScope Daily Routine, and write letters or email messages to build and maintain a connection with your students.
- Reading the message board is a great way to talk to children about any changes and prepare them for their daily routine.
- Record a video of yourself reading a story and share it with your children and families, or set up a virtual read-aloud time. HighScope’s Let’s Read It Again! Interactive Read-Alouds is a powerful tool for digital learning.
- Get creative using items from around your own home for activities and lesson plans.
- As HighScope educators, you know that every activity presents children with the opportunity to learn. Integrate teaching into your experiences at home by creating lessons based on your daily activities — whether it’s taking a trip to your backyard garden, preparing a meal, or caring for a pet. Just remember to record these experiences and share them with your students!
HOW TO SUPPORT EDUCATORS
- Provide educators and administrators with tutorials to help them feel comfortable and confident utilizing technology and digital platforms.
- Create a digital platform that facilitates regular collaboration and socializing among educators and administrators. This provides a space to ensure that teams feel connected and supported while working remotely.
- Redesign expectations — mistakes happen in the classroom all of the time, so it’s ok if they occur in a digital classroom as well.
Watch how HighScope’s Hub of Excellence, two charter schools in San Antonio, Texas, flipped their learning environments to digital classrooms in response to COVID-19.