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Exploring the use of ICT in Early Childhood Education in New Zealand Essay

In New Zealand, education styles have been like fashions that revive. Education system has changed a lot. The old system came back into use with some modifications to suit the current situation. In New Zealand, a school base curriculum development (SBCD) is one of the learning systems used in 1980s and 1990s. The system was dropped and later reused with the renewed interests implemented. According to Bolstad (2004), the system reflected the current situation integrating all the educational needs according to the researches done. SBCD was believed to give an opportunity for schools to use new technology and ideas amongst other things.

Literature Review
For over a decade now, there has been a lot of emphasis on introduction of information communication technology in schools. Introduction of technology in schools was thought of as a way of improving on teaching methods hence enhance the way of thinking and understanding of learners. To make it efficient, the curriculum had to be flexible to allow for changes in the future. ICT use in some schools has not been productive. The current situations calls for innovative people and knowledge based activities to restore New Zealand’s social and economic goals (Bolstad, 2004).

According to Studies, New Zealand has registered an increase in the need for early childhood education. This calls for an increased number of trained teachers to provide the early childhood education. In addition the New Zealand government has implemented a strategy that runs for ten years to help promote early childhood education. The country has developed a culture that promotes early childhood education to children as the future of the nation (Arataki, 2002).

 According to Arataki (2002), New Zealand will have realized their vision. All registered teachers in Early Childhood institutions will have undergone diploma training in Early Childhood Education. The quality of education that a child has depends on the teacher’s knowledge, skills and attitudes. The quality of education and personality of a teacher will affect the child much. At this age the teacher are encouraged to use cognitive teaching aids to incorporate the educational and care procedures to the children. With the implementation of Information Communication Technology in Early Childhood Education, the teachers should also have trained on information technology issues.

Research in New Zealand the Early Childhood Education is home based. The home based institutions are under government control and hence get assessed frequently to ensure quality services to the children. There are places where learning has been enriched. Computers have been used in classes to demonstrate processes for the children.

This builds on their way of thinking and they grow up in a different way of thinking. ICT enhance development of children from all perspectives. The in formation provided in school can be written in DVDs and used later at home. This will make both the parents and the teachers to have a shared responsibility in teaching the child (Ministry of Education, 2008).

There is evidence that New Zealand Ministry of Education (2008) has adopted an ICT system to be used in Early Childhood Education. The main aim of developing the ICT system was to promote remote access, group work, network and resource sharing using a computer. This was meant to promote learning between young people in groups especially the early childhood children. The ICT system was to support any child applications to enhance the services given by their educators or teachers. The system had to be accessible through out the learning time to ensure all children and their teachers have reliable access to the required services.

 There is a data management system used to filter traffic and this has been used to ensure all the mails received through the network are free from any threat. This has made the system appropriate for storing learning materials hence no need of buying or carrying them. Computer and internet access has served both the parents and teachers the cost of buying such learning materials to ensure quality services to the children. In addition it a stress free way of educating the children. These children gets to learn a lot making them get more prepared for the future (Ministry of Education, 2008).

Studies show that there are computer based centers or libraries where children can be taken to get such services. In New Zealand, the home based early childhood centers have achieved this very easily. The programs have been made in to video tape or DVD players and watched in televisions at homes. This is encouraging to a child since they will find it as easy as watching the TV programs or playing games in their play stations. The programs encourage s both the learners and the trainers’ participation (Ministry of Education, 2008).

Latest research show that early Childhood Education requires cognitive teaching aids. By using technology, the children will get access to many materials that can be used to help them relate what they have learnt to life experiences. It is also advantageous to the parents in that their children can easily access trainings form anywhere (Ministry of Education, 2008). With the computers and a reliable network access, these children can now access such services at home. This saves the parents from looking for good schools for their children. The children’s progress records can be accessed over the internet.

 According to latest reports from Ministry of Education (2008), New Zealand ICT has formed the foundation of Early Childhood Education. This called for multimedia network service provider. The New Zealand government has introduced ICT use in their curriculum that has enhanced Early Childhood Education in this nation. Internet access use has enhanced communication between parents and the teachers. It has also engaged the parents in providing such services hence quality childhood care is assured amongst children in New Zealand. The web based learning materials is an added opportunity for the children.

 Currently, the web has made the children get access to a well developed and managed learning process (Ministry of Education, 2008). This has expanded the child’s area of interest and has provided a new dimension to their learning capabilities. Teachers can take advantage of internet to provide a wide range of teaching resources or aids to the children hence an added opportunity to develop him/ her self professionally.

 According to Ministry of Education (2008), a standard has been formed to ensure the ICT usage in Early Childhood Education is universally applicable in all communities. This ensures quality services that are accessible anywhere all over the world. The standards also assure the teachers if the easy maintainability requirements of the ICT systems.  Standardization will also make it easy for the trainers to be able to have the required qualifications to operate any such systems. The systems should be highly reliable to promote the learners and others users confidence.

Studies have shown that the introduction of computers in schools has been cost effective. It has reduced the paper work involved in keeping records especially in the Early Childhood centers. With the little children it is a times very hard to help them take care of their property. By using computer systems, record keeping has been improved. Computers provide very convenient and secure data storages. Information collected and stored in the computers can be easily shared or transferred through the internet or using the portable data storage devices like CDs or flash disks (Ministry of Education, 2008).

The ICT system is well protected physically. A firewall has been built and antivirus software installed to ensures data security. The system has been protected from any internal and external attacks. This makes it the best for the Early Childhood Education services (Ministry of Education, 2008). The student details will be safe, easily managed hence reduced workload for the teachers in maintaining orderliness.

Latest studies show that data recovery systems have been used to help recover user data in case of any disaster. The auto-recovery system is good for the children (Ministry of Education, 2008). At their age they can easily tamper with the information in the computers hence to help track down their progress. At this age also, the children may tend to be very care less with their work or they just don’t feel interested in learning. This is an alternative way to engage all of them. Through using computers and every child’s work can be saves, this provides an easier way of monitoring the child’s work.

 Teachers can make it to manage more than one or a big class remotely using networked computers. This an added advantage to both the teachers and the children. Every child will be able to receive the teacher’s attention or facilitate communication between the learner and the teacher (Ministry of Education, 2008). With the technology enhancements, the network is sound enabled with web cameras and UVC (USB Video Class) to allow for video chats sessions (Ministry of Education, 2008). This provides an easier way to teach the children. They will be listening and watching the actions and hence learn form them.

Conclusion.
From this study I would conclude that Information communication technology (ICT) has contributed a lot to the Early Childhood Education in the New Zealand (Ministry of education, 2008). Children have been introduced to computers at such a tender age and this will be a greater future for this nation. The children will be more creative and innovative to learn and use technology. This will enhance their productivity to the nation hence improve their economy. Technology use is cost effective, efficient and proves production quality. The New Zealand has invested much on their children as the future generation of the nation.

In New Zealand all the teachers providing to Early Childhood Education are therefore expected to attend the right trains to ensure quality education to the children. The success of ICT system in ECE in New Zealand is as a result of these teachers. It is therefore appropriate for all teachers to be computer literate to benefit from introduction of technology use in our learning institutions. As a matter of fact, the children tend to emulate their teachers (Arataki, 2002) and so the teachers should be the first to understand well the technological advances.

If the teachers are up to date with the technology applications then the children are assured of a continuous improvement on the quality of education they get from the teacher.  The New Zealand government should therefore ensure the teachers go for trainings occasionally to up date their experience or knowledge on technology applications. The New Zealand’s 2012 vision on Early Childhood Education is achievable.

Reference:
Arataki, N.H. 2002, Ministry of Education. Pathways to the future:

A10 year strategic plan for early childhood education. Wellington: Learning

Media.

Bolstad, R. 2004. School-based curriculum development: principles, processes, and


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