Technology (computer’s programs) education Essay Example

  • Category:
    Education
  • Document type:
    Article
  • Level:
    Masters
  • Page:
    8
  • Words:
    5637

Critical Response

Affiliation

Introduction

Information and communication technology, especially computer plays important role in the early-childhood education. The computer is an effective technology that not only improved the way of teachings, but also enhanced the learning disposition of the children. The children especially of 3-5 years, who are in their early-childhood phase, like to explore new things and also like to interact with new technologies. The use of computer in the pre-school settings show the distinct results in many researches. To understand the impact of computer in the early-childhood education, I have selected two article journals. Both article journals explains the similar topic, but in a different way. In this paper, the brief summary of both of the articles has been given. Moreover, the critical response to both article and its comparison also given to clarify the impacts of ICT and computer in the pre-school education of the children.

The first journal article that I have selected is “Children, play and computers in pre-school education”. The article explains the impacts of information and technology in the pre-school years of the education of children. The writer tries to draw an attention on the importance of pre-school education and the long-lasting effect of computer and technology on the learning of the children. The article first describes the pre-school education and its role in the learning process of the children. Two types of learning process have been explained in the article. The first is formal learning and the other is informal learning. Some of the children can easily understand the text-based instruction during learning, but on the other hand, there are some children who fail to understand and interpret the text based instruction thus for those children the technology and computer based instruction are used by their teacher to teach them complex instructions. The observation and experimental research methodology have been chosen by the researcher. The experiment has been done in Scotland. In Scotland, the school going age is 5 years, but there are almost 98% children of 4 years old and 83% children of 3 years old start going pre-school before taking admission in the formal schooling. The pre-school education is not the formal education. It lies in the category of informal education.

Furthermore, the article also explains the effect of information and communication technology on the pre-school education of the children between 3-5 years. The article also explains one useful approaches that can be used, when a child uses the computer as a novice. The approaches are helpful in analyzing the learnings of the children. Different approach gives different result like some children want supervision, but some want to explore new thing without any interruption. The researcher has explored different results from different approaches that helped the researcher in drawing his interpretation of the impact of information and communication technology on the pre-school children. Moreover, the article also describes different techniques that children learned by interacting computers. Thus, different benefits of the computer has also discussed in the results. According to the researcher, children learn many practices and techniques from the computer and computer is the interesting technology for the children of the age 3-5. At the end, the researcher also suggests that new policy framework for the information and communication technology because the results were very positive. The results clearly show that children not only play on the computer system even they learn many useful techniques with the help of a computer. The only requirement to fit information and communication technology in the pre-school setting is to effectively monitor the learnings and impacts of the computer based learning because some children need proper guidance and some do not need any instructions (Plowman & Stephen, 2005).

In addition, the second journal article that I have selected is “Click on meow: how children of three and four years’ experience the Nursey computer”. The article explains the importance of information and communication technology in the early education of the children of 3 and four years. The children that have been observed by the researcher were belong to different ethnicities and backgrounds. The purpose of selecting different children from different ethic and background was to determine and analyze the learning patterns of different children with same technique or technology. According to the researcher, analyzing the impact of information and communication technology is the most popular and ongoing debate and many researches are conducted on this topic. The information and communication technologies not only support the learning process, but also plays an important part in the development of the child. In the early childhood, the children were in the complex state of mind. They want to learn new things and new things always attract the children because at that age they love to explore new things and interpret new stimuli. The research question is similar of both the journals. This research journal also explains the impact of ICT in the early childhood education. This research is also based on the observational and experimental methodology. The experiment was conducted in an English nursery to examine the behavior of the nursery student while interacting with the computer in their educational setting. The results show very positive results. According to the findings, in the early childhood development stage the children have very influential effects on their learning process. Children learn many new techniques that can help them in clearing their understandings about the complex things.

Additionally, information and communication technology also supports the social processes and socialization of the child. The sample of different children was taken in which children of different backgrounds, race and ethnicity were included. The different backgrounds help the researcher in examining the difference in cognitive and behavioral responses of different children. Moreover, the study not only explains the impact of the use of information and communication technology in early childhood education in the educational settings only but also tells the impact of using ICT at homes. According to the research results, children learn different expressions, impression and meanings of different actions from the computer. Sometimes they learn from the different animated character and sometimes they learn from different actions. Thus, it has been proved that ICT plays key role in the learning process of children in early childhood education. The study also explains the role of two biggest programs of Europe for this early childhood learning through ICT. The first project was DATEC, which is developmentally appropriate technology in early childhood and the other was CHAT which is also known as children’s awareness of technology. The significance of the program has both been directly linked to the impact of the ICT on the early childhood education (BROOKER & SIRAJ-BLATCHFORD, 2002).

The study of Plowman & Stephen (2005), was an interesting research that explains the most debated topics of educational psychology. The study elaborates the impact of the computer on the pre-school education. The study takes both the research variable ICT and early school years of education together. Different research and data collection strategies have been elected by the researcher to find out most accurate and appropriate results that explain effectively the impact of technology especially computer on the pre-school education. For this, purpose the combination of quantitative and qualitative research methodology have been chosen and researchers draw the result at the end. Nevertheless, the study is concise and exploratory in nature.

The research question is considered as the heart of every study because all the foundation of the research design lies on it. The research question of this study has two main components. The first component is ICT and the other is early childhood education which the researchers have given a distinct sense and made it more specific through called as “pre-school education”. The main purpose of the study is to explain the effectiveness of information and communication technology in the educational settings especially in the pre-school. ICT has always been a significant topic and area of interest of many researches, especially psychology, IT, economics, business and marketing (Noor-Ul-Amin, 2012). It not only alter the way of doing business and handling governances but it has also altered the way of teaching our children at home and at schools as well (M.Yusuf, 2005). The most interesting thing about this research and research question is it covers pre-school education and impact of information and communication technology on the educational experience of children of 3-5. The research question is very wide as far as impacts of the information and communication technology is concerned, but at the same time when the researchers rightly specify the age of the children 3-5, it makes the research specific. The research question is common because it has already covered by many of the researchers, but the distinct case study and sample gathering make it different.

The background of the research was very interesting. The research was carried out because the government of the United Kingdom wanted to initiate new programs and curriculum in which information and communication technology could be adjusted. The problem was the multi-cultural schools of the United Kingdom. It was difficult for them to analyze the impact of new technology on the children especially of pre-school. To understand the need of ICT in formal and informal education, the Scottish government had already launched its initiative in which they clearly stated the need of ICT in preschool education. So, this research was designed to observe 7 pre-school setting to conclude the exact impact of ICT on the development and learning of children at the age 3-5. The case study setting has been used by the researcher as the research strategy which gives a detailed analysis of different settings for similar research question. The case study setting approach is suitable for this study because the researcher wants to observe and collect different settings for different results to measure the scale to which results would be similar even if with different setting (Gomm, et al., 2000). Case study setting approach is the most suitable approach for such a type of researches. Moreover, the data collection from such a selected setting is also a unique way of observing the results and compare them with each other (Rowley, 2009).

The seven selected settings were; two private sector nurseries, three local nursery schools and two were voluntary sector play groups. The settings consist of three kinds. The first one is local the other is voluntary and the third one is private. The purpose of setting different settings is to examine the nature of each setting and their technological facilities present in each setting. The research methodology that has been chosen for gathering data is interviewing the practitioner and the teacher and the other one is observation. There were six questions involved in the interviewing process. All the questions were of a different nature and serve different purpose. All the question that had been asked during the observation were based on the ICT resources and their impact on the children’s learnings. The nature of each question is to extract the possible information about the information and communication technology and its usefulness in the educational setting, especially in informal education. The strong point of this research is it not only emphasis on the computer, but it covers all the information and communication technologies to observe the impact of each. Even many researches in the past on cover the impact of only preschool (Waddell & McBride, 2008). Firstly, the researcher observed the information and communication technology in the preschool setting. Such an observation helps in analyzing the difference of technologies in the different settings. In the local nurseries the computer that had been provided by the authorities were not user-friendly whereas in the private playgroups the computers were user friendly and children like to explore such user-friendly computers. Moreover, the second thing the researcher observes, is to examine the behavior of the children when they found a computer in their school setting. They start exploring the computer, click on a variety of options and learn new things. The process of socialization has also been supported by the interaction between the children. They discuss different features with each other and talk about the turns and plays.

Moreover, different supervision techniques have also explained. First is reactive supervision, guided instruction and a hybrid approach. The approaches are very effectively observed. It gives the detail account of guidance of how teachers can guide and teach the children about the different features and application of the guidance. The most appropriate technique from all them was hybrid in which reactive and guided supervision was managed effectively in the pre-school setting (Roberts-Holmes, 2013). Moreover, the observation research technique has also used effectively. Each of the components, activity and behavior of the children in different setting have been observed effectively. The big problem in research methodology is it is totally based on the observation of the researcher. Thus, it depends on the qualitative thinking and perception of the observer. The results may include biased opinion of the researcher because option is always a reflection of the personality trait, cultural factors and past experience (FOX, 1998)

The results of the study were discussion based. The discussion of the research study helps in concluding the results and facts about the research topic. The foremost aim of the study that has also mentioned in the discussion section is to find the learning experience of the children in pre-school while using the computer or other information and communication technology. There are many significant findings of this study. First of all it explains the importance of learning in the informal and pre-school settings. Secondly, it acknowledged that the impacts of different ICT technologies are different in each child. Moreover, it also elaborates that learning and development are inseparable concepts. Children in their formal education love to explore and learn about all new things that they find in their environment (Bertrand, 2007). The other important finding of the study is; it concluded that children love to interact during their learning process. The integrated tasks related to computer always encourage the child to share and discuss their ideas with the class fellows or with the teacher. The computer related tasks not only increase the interaction between the teachers and students in the pre-school but also encourages the child to ask questions from their teacher about what they find complex (M.O’Hara, 2008). Such an activity also responsible in cognitive development and also the development of logical reasoning in the learning process (Wolfe & Flewitt, 2010).

Thus, it has been proved by the study that information and communication technology not only helps in the formal education in pre-schools, but also creates many advantages for the teacher to improve their teaching styles. The scaffolding technique has also mentioned in the study findings. The scaffolding is guiding technique that is commonly used in the pre-schools during informal years of education, in which teacher uses a similar structure to make complex things understandable for the children. The scaffolding is the technique that encourages a child to develop his own creativity and develop resourcefulness ideas through learning (Vacca, 2008). Thus, the researcher has mentioned very effective techniques in its discussion section. The result of this study was well-explained and sounds valid because study has given example with the discussion. The one drawback of this study is it didn’t include the facts and figure. All the discussion is based on the assumptions of the researcher or the observer. The study is very concise and precise. The arguments are based on the previous researches and the assumptions and observation of the researcher that creates doubts on the validity and reliability of the results.

The study of Brooker & Siraj-Blatchford (2002) has very well explained by the research. The aim and objective of the research is to describe the impact of the information and communication technology on the early childhood education. The observational research method has been selected as the research methodology which creates many doubts on the validity of the reach and reliability of the results that have been concluded at the end of the research. The critical response to this article has been discussed below.

Defining a suitable research question is a complex task for all the researchers. The aim and purpose of all the research questions is to find the appropriate answer. The research question decides whether the research methodology will be quantitative or qualitative (Springett & Campbell, 2006). In the study of Brooker & Siraj-Blatchford (2002), the research question covers the three broad areas of discussion. The first component is to find the role of the computer in the learning process of the children in their early childhood education. The second component is to find the advantages and disadvantages of using computer in home settings. The first and second component has been used to distinguish the impact of computer in the home setting and in the school settings. It is an important part of the research because it gives wider scope to the research question. Similarly, the third component is to examine the conditions that are more effective in which the results are effective. These conditions are not only the environmental condition, but it will also explain that how children of different backgrounds, race and culture react to different situation.

Additionally, different children have of different background have different experience in their cognitive and social development (Donato, 2000). Thus, the research question is very wide. It is not concise. The first weak point of this research question is its very wide that may mismanage the result (Derese, 2001). The foremost quality of the research question of this article is it not only covers the impacts of the information and communication technology in the home and school but also covers the social-cultural changes. Socio-cultural changes as the significant component of the research question that makes this research more interesting. Many of the researchers discuss the same question, but never explain the impacts of socio-cultural changes in the learning process. The uniqueness of the social and cognitive factors in the educational settings is necessary because they are responsible in the human mental activity. The human activity involves around voluntary attention, logical thoughts, intentional memory, planning and problem solving. Thus, the inclusion of the socio-cultural factors in the research question that is actually explaining the impact of computer in the early childhood education (TURUK, 2008). Hence, the research question is wide, but includes many unique perspectives.

The research methodology that has been chosen for conducting this research is quantitative research methodology. The researcher has selected school setting to observe the impacts on the children. The background of research tells that the research is based on the empirical evidences of the researches that has been done before it. Some of the researches that have been covered by different researchers were different. Some were based on the students in the United Kingdom or other chose American children in their researches. Similarly, some of the studies selected the children of age 5 to 7 whereas some covered pre-school students, but all explains the impact of information and communication and technology on the early education. Furthermore the results were different because of their different sample selection. Thus, such an empirical evidences became the basis of this research. As, empirical evidences are always proving a heart of all the research and provides the basis for the discussion of other future researches (Tonhauser & Matthewson, 2015). Consequently, the strong empirical evidences have made the foundation of this research.

Moreover, the study has adopted the ecological approach. The ecological approach in the learning process is a contemporary approach that is used to access the behavior of the teachers and students in the educational settings. The ecological approach is best suited in this study because the natural setting of school and home were selected by the researcher. The ecological approach is appropriate because study includes the teacher-directed approach to learner-directed approach (Normak & Kaipainen, 2012). The learner-directed approach of ecological environment tells what the students learn while interacting with the new and novice things like computers. Similarly the teacher-directed approach helps in analyzing the teaching of the teacher and its effects in the learning processes. The ecological approach supports the research setting because it includes planning learning goals, learning resources and learning environment and its key composition factors (Brown & Adler, 2008).

In addition, with the ecological approach the method of study was informal observation. The informal observation is specially designed for the observation of the students and teachers in the educational setting (Marsha, 2010). The informal observation has been used to examine the relationship between the school and its staff. The researchers also took the consent of the teachers and parents of the children. Which shows the ethical responsibility of the researchers which shows the positive and responsible attitude of the researchers (Helsinki, 2009). The period of four months has been selected as a time span. First, the researcher examined the behavior of the children individually. Second, interviews of the parents and the teachers were conducted, in which the questions related to the impact and advantages of information and communication and technology to the study of their children. Both teachers and parents gave different responses and opinions about the ICT. Third, the recordings of the responses of the children while using the computer have been examined. The sample of the 48 students has been selected in which different students of different backgrounds and races were included. The ethnicities which had been included in the sample were Anglo, Bengalis and others. The selection of different ethnic groups (Ross, 2010) gave new perspective and aim to the study. The sample of children that belongs to different ages and background gives new results that make the study more interesting.

The results of the study have been collected from multiple sources. First, the researchers asked the parents of all the children to fill a form in which ICT and its advantages related questions were asked. Moreover, the different electronic items were selected by the researchers and gave option to the parents to tell the usability of each of the devices. On the other hand, they also ask the accessibility of each electronic device for the parents. The results show that the Anglo has high accessibility of electronic devices and only 26 children from 48 had their personal computer. The children who knew how to use the computer, they know the features of the computer and their various educational and games applications. The results show that those children who had not personal computers were not able to understand the computer and its applications when they got it in their school setting. The Bengalis were the most disadvantageous one. In addition, different statements have been used in the research, from the responses of the students the perception about the use of a computer at home was cleared. Many of the parents think children should have computers when they get mature and responsible and it is only good for the younger children. Such a response of the parents negates many theories of learning because if children in their learning age would not interact with new technologies they fail to understand and learn new things from the computer.

Even in many studies, like (Blackwella & Lauricellaa, 2013) explains that the computer is an imperative technology that eliminates the barriers of communication within the class. The children in their early education want this useful technology because it gives new experiences and perceptions of the world to the children in their early childhood (Ottenbreit-Leftwich & Glasewski, 2010). Early childhood is the crucial stage of development in which a child explore new dimensions of different things and starts repositioning its thinking about the objects and stimuli in his or her surroundings (Inan & Lowther, 2010). Therefore, the perception of the parents of not providing personal computers in their early age is wrong. Likewise, the most interesting thing in this study is it also explains impacts and significance of software on the computers in the schools and its effects on the early childhood educational experience. The results were astonishing. According to the results, different features of the software like animated alphabets, banana characters, animated teddy bears, tizzy toy box and many other features helps in making the learning of the children interesting. The results show that children learn such an animated character and its related instruction more frequently than the other commands. There are different advantages of the computer and ICT in the early childhood learning were discussed. Some of them are; the information and communication technology supports the socialization process in the educational setting. It also supports language development. Thus, the language development is a cognitive activity, so it also proves that it helps in cognitive development of the children (Liebert & Wicks-Nelson, 1986). Furthermore, it makes the education interesting and playable for the children of 3 to 4 years (BROOKER & SIRAJ-BLATCHFORD, 2002).

There are few similarities in both of the Journal articles that are; both discuss the impact of information and communication technology and its impact on the early education of the children. Both of the studies observed the behavior of the children of the age of 3-5. Likewise, both of the studies also explain the cognitive, educational and social development by using computer and other information and communication technology Moreover, both explains the positive impacts of computer in the informal educational years of the children. The information and communication technology is an important area of research that is why many of the researchers chose this topic as their research topic. The computers in the preschool not only increase the interaction between the children and the teachers, but it has also become the agent of socialization in the educational setting. It also broadens the availability of effective teaching styles in the schools. Information and communication technology provides new and innovative means to the children and to the teachers as well (BEC inc, 2002). When children studying in pre-school, they are in the process of development and learning (Anzalone & Stephen, 2001). The first journal article by Plowman & Stephen (2005) has selected the case study method, whereas the article by Brooker & Siraj-Blatchford (2002) has selected the sample of different children that belong to different social and ethnic groups. The results were somehow similar because both of the studies concluded that the computer is an interesting technology for the children and children learn a lot of the interactive and attractive features of the computer. In the study of Brooker & Siraj-Blatchford (2002) children of different background and ethnic shows the difference of learning experience of different children.

On the other hand, the study of Plowman & Stephen (2005) also explains that children in the pre-school learns new things which also broaden their perception and way of thinking. Likewise, the other similarity in both the researches is both explains the learning and development process in early childhood education. The development is of three kinds. The first is cognitive development, second is educational development and the third is social development. All the kinds of development forms the personality of the individual that is why they play an important role in the learning process. In the educational development of the children in early childhood, computer plays an imperative role. Many researchers suggest that the children with no computer facility are poor in making logical reasoning and understanding complex instruction. They weak in the concrete development stage of Piaget and they are even poor in mathematics as well (CLEMENTS, 2002). The computer also gives the sense of manipulating things and perceive different things and objects differently. Moreover, both studies also explain that the technique of scaffolding was an important component of information and communication technology. It improves the way of teaching. It increases the interactions between teachers and students.

Furthermore, both narrate the strong impacts of the computer and ICT in early childhood education. Some of the drawbacks of both the studies are; both explain the positivity of the ICT and computer, but ignore the negative impacts of the computer. The study Brooker & Siraj-Blatchford (2002) explains the perception of those parents, who do not allow their children to use computer at homes, but at the same time, the research negates the perception of the parent and concluded that children with computer facility at home are more intelligent and confident than the children who do not have computers in homes. Moreover, the study of Brooker & Siraj-Blatchford (2002is very lengthy and well-explained on the other hand the study of Plowman & Stephen was very precise and concise. Both have used different research designs. The article by Brooker & Siraj-Blatchford (2002) has used quantitative assessment and data collecting techniques and all the findings were based on the facts and figure. The other article of Plowman & Stephen (2002) is totally different in this regard, the qualitative and quantitative both research methodologies have used. The case study and data collection method were used in the article. The main problem of both the studies is both of them were based on the observation and analysis that make the both researches weak and crucial.

Conclusion

To sum up it can be concluded that both the article journal is significant and explain the impacts of information and communication technology especially computer on the early childhood education. The first article of Plowman & Stephen is very concise but gives strong arguments and discussion in the finding section. The research methodology is based on both quantitative and qualitative observational methods. The results show that the computer helps in the educational development of the pre-school children. Moreover, informal education plays very important learning processes that’s why the use of computers can improve the cognitive and social development of the children in pre-school. Moreover, the second article of Brooker & Siraj-Blatchford (2002), which is very lengthy and detailed one. It describes each component of the research question in a detailed manner. The quantitative observational methodology of research has been used. The results show the prominent results that explains that the children who have computers in their home are similar to the most of the features of the computer and they are smarter than the others who have no computer. Both of the journal explains the importance of computer in early childhood education of the children of age 3-5.

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