“There is no such thing as online preschool,” NAEYC CEO Rhian Evans Allvin wrote in an online statement. “Technology-based apps are not preschool, and they are not high-quality child care.”
In an Exchange article called “Stable Connections: Bringing Effective Practices to Remote Learning,” author Samantha Balch quotes Allvin’s statement, and then explains:
“Hundreds, if not thousands, of programs like mine were thrown into the same situation in spring 2020, with next to no time to thoughtfully discuss how to pivot from working with young children in person to working with them over online platforms. What is appropriate? What should our goals be? What should we even be doing? Technology in the early years has rarely been a straightforward subject, and for a good reason: bringing tech into classrooms deserves a lot of thought.”
Our latest Exchange Reflections, “Bringing Effective Practices to Remote Learning,” addresses a very challenging subject: How should the early childhood field be addressing remote learning, given the fact that it would be no one’s first choice, but many are being asked to make it work?
Balch’s article, and the accompanying Exchange Reflections thoughtfully consider many aspects of remote learning. She writes:
“We know that not all screen time is created equal. Just as ‘good’ teachers would not have their preschool students sit separated at desks all day to stare at sight words, ‘good’ screen time also avoids passive, rote tasks in favor of forming connections through conversation and play.”
We hope this latest Exchange Reflections will provide food-for-thought for negotiating this complicated issue that many in our field are currently facing.
Exchange Reflections are designed to help a team of people meet in-person or live online to think deeply together about a topic using an article from Exchange magazine as a guide. Included are discussion questions to help guide reflections, as well as a Making Commitments idea sheet to help prompt ideas into action. For your convenience, Exchange Reflections are available in PDF format and you can download immediately on your desktop.
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Your quote of Rhian is out of context. It was a few years ago and she was responding to replacing early education with computer based learning. In COVI we have pivoted and have figured out ways to build relationships, direct experiences, and joy with children. NAEYC supports our work during COVID.