To The Information Highway for 
Early Childhood:

Directions for Children, Parents, and Teachers


Tonya L. Witherspoon
Wichita State University

Dr. Jeri A. Carroll
Wichita State University


Young students online? In the age of technology, many of us are like young students, curious about technology and yet, not nearly as fearless as they. As adults, we are experiencing things that no one before us has experienced. We are exploring in ways no others have explored before us. As adults we are student explorers ourselves as well as guides and experts for our students.  How do we translate all of this information into workable learning for young children?

  NAEYC Position Statement Adopted April 1996
Managing Computers in Preschool 
and Kindergarten Classrooms
  Software for Young Children
Finding Online Sources Appropriate 
for Young Children
How to Keep Children Safe Online
Links for Early Childhood
Designing a School or Class Web Page




NAEYC Position Statement Adopted April 1996
(National Association for the Education of Young Children)

Technology and Young Children -- Ages 3 through 8

  • NAEYC believes that in any given situation, a professional judgment by the teacher is required to determine if a specific use of technology is age appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally appropriate.

  • Used appropriately, technology can enhance children's cognitive and social abilities.

  • Appropriate technology is integrated into the regular learning environment and used as one of many options to support children's learning.

  • Early childhood educators should promote equitable access to technology for all children and their families. Children with special needs should have increased access when this is helpful.

  • The power of technology to influence children's learning and development requires that attention be paid to eliminating stereotyping of any group and eliminating exposure to violence, especially as a problem-solving strategy.

  • Teachers, in collaboration with parents, should advocate for more appropriate technology applications for all children.

  • The appropriate use of technology has many implications for early childhood professional development.

At the classroom level, teachers need staff-development experiences (Kearsley & Lynch 1992) that permit them to


  • use teaching techniques that fully use the technology;

  • encourage parental involvement with technology;

  • match technology applications to the learning needs of individual children;

  • look for cross-curriculum/cross-cultural applications;

  • facilitate cooperative interactions among children; and

  • use technology to improve personal efficiency.


Early childhood educators should use technology as a tool for communication and collaboration among professionals as well as a tool for teaching children.

Technology can be a powerful tool for professional development.


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Managing Computers in Preschool 
and Kindergarten Classrooms


  • Clean your hands before using the computers.  Use waterless hand cleaning solution or baby wipes.

  • Keep the computers clean.  Clean with alcohol wipes.

  • Clean the inside of the mouse so that it will roll and respond well.

  • Keep track pads dry.  If they get wet use a fan directed at the track pad to dry.  Do not use heat.

  • Earphones - use a dual jack so that two earphones may be used at once.  In case of head lice problems put headphones in zip lock bags for 48 hours to "de-lice"

  • Keyboard - move out of the way for younger students.  Put guiding stickers on important keys to help students locate keys.

  • Monitor - view at a lower resolution so that the font is larger or change the view to a larger font.

  • Children using computers should “Share a Chair” and work together

  • Ensure equal “mouse” time. Use an egg or kitchen timer to signal turns.

  • Use red and green Solo cups stacked on top of each other to signal silently for help.

  • Use task cards to manage computer instruction.  Screen shots and icons can be used for visual clues.

  • Learn to respect the computer


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Software for Young Children

Kidspiration or Inspiration Living Books Library Trudy's Time and Place House
KidPix Jump Start Series Sticky Bear Software
Reader Rabbit Series Sammy's Science House Travel The World With Timmy
*SmartBoard *Digital Camera *Webcam

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Managing the Internet and Finding Online Sources Appropriate for Young Children
Managing the Internet in the Early Childhood Classroom
  • Most websites with animation and sound require an Internet Plug-in in order to view.  Check these out ahead of time and download
  • Websites with sound and animation are also high bandwidth sites – try them out before you try them with students. If you’re in the computer lab try getting several machines on at one time – this is significantly different on the network than just using one computer
  • Always have a back up site in case sites are down or network traffic is high

Finding Online Sources



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How to Keep Children Safe Online


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Links for Early Childhood


For Children

For Parents and Teachers


Project M3   

Technology Integration Projects for Students

TIPS for Science
The science lessons provided task cards in the area of research, analysis, and communication.

Tips for Health
The health lessons each have a topic, grade level, district health standard, lesson summary, textbook connections, materials, technology needed, instructional input, a WebQuest, a worksheet, and additional online resources.

 WebQuests for Early Learners


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Designing a School or Class Web Page

Mueller Elementary School

  • Communication

  • Homebound Assignments

  • Showcase Student Work

  • Collaborative Projects


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Carroll, J.A., & Witherspoon, T.L. (2002).  Linking Technology and Curriculum:  Integrating the ISTE NETS Standards into Teaching and Learning.  Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Carroll, J.A., M.G., Kelly, & Witherspoon, T.L. (In Press).  NETS •S Curriculum Series—Multidisciplinary Units for Grades PK-2.  Eugene, OR: ISTE



Developed by: Dr. Jeri A. Carroll and  Tonya Witherspoon
Wichita State University
College of Education
Wichita State University