Technology Use in Early Childhood Education: A Review of Literature

N. ZomerABSTRACT: This paper provides a review of the literature from 2009 to 2014 on student use of technology in early childhood education. Previous efforts to synthesize the literature are somewhat dated, non-specific about age range, and focus almost exclusively on literacy. Thirty peer-reviewed articles from 11 countries, selected from a comprehensive search of the literature, were organized under five main categories: literacy, engagement, social interactions, mathematics, and miscellaneous topics. The overall effect size, based on only 12 studies and 33 measures was moderately high (d= 0.71, SD=0.60). Considerable qualitative and quantitative evidence indicated that technology had a significant impact on literacy development. Fewer studies, mostly qualitative in design and small in sample size, reported that technology had a positive impact on engagement, social interactions, and mathematics skills. A handful of studies provided qualitative evidence that technology had a positive impact on sequencing, visual perception, creative thinking, and fine motor capability. Methodological concerns included limited sample sizes and descriptions, not documenting the consistency and accuracy data of collection tools, the extent of adult intervention, and the limited range of technology tools used.

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