The Early Childhood Technology (ECT) certificate program is designed for educators and practitioners working with young children in pre-kindergarten through second grade in diverse educational settings. Despite the national push to make technology and engineering a priority in early childhood education, research indicates that few teachers have a background that prepares them to adequately achieve this. There are also a growing number of practitioners and professionals working with young children in informal educational settings such as museums, libraries, day cares, camps, maker-spaces, after school programs and other learning environments, who are feeling an increased need to integrate technology into their work with young children. The ECT certificate program is designed to meet the needs of these busy professionals by offering a blended program that is completed predominantly online (with only one on-campus requirement) in order to allow participants across the U.S. and the world to increase their confidence teaching with and through new technologies.
Scope of Coursework
The program philosophy is inspired by over a decade and a half of research on early childhood technology by the DevTech Research Group led by Professor Marina Umaschi Bers. Through the content courses students will have hands-on experience with using developmentally appropriate robotics kits, computer programming apps, engineering and building activities, and more. Students will explore the use of educational technology for young children in maker-spaces and other informal learning environments.
The three-course curriculum (two online and one culminating on-campus one-week residency course) is designed to develop participants' content knowledge and skills in technology and engineering with a focus on early childhood (pre-kindergarten through second grade). Additionally, it will develop their teaching practices and assessment methods and their understanding of young student learning. Participants who complete the program will be prepared to implement high quality technology and engineering activities in diverse learning environments including classrooms, museums, daycares, after school programs, maker spaces, libraries and more. They will leave the program with a deep knowledge of progressive pedagogical approaches to early childhood technology education and with a solid foundation of how to integrate these content areas into the curriculum in a developmentally appropriate way that integrates playful learning. Finally, they will have been exposed to a variety of cutting-edge materials and equipment for engaging young children in technology and engineering education.
The first two courses in the program are completed online and the final course is completed in-person at Tufts University over the course of one intensive week of work in the summer. The required courses include a foundational course on educational technology (CD:145 Online Seminar on Technological Tools for Playful Learning) and a course on implementing educational technology in different learning settings (CD:143 Designing Educational & Technological Environments for Children).
Finally, the program culminates with a one-week on-campus Early Childhood Technology Summit; the last required class. This intensive summit allows students to spend one week working with program faculty from the DevTech Research Group and exploring curriculum development with educational technologies. During this time, students will also get to work hands-on with children, implementing curricular experiences at the Eliot-Pearson Children's School in a supervised setting. This residency also allows students to network and build connections with their certificate program cohort as well as others from the EdTech community.
Online Seminar on Technological Tools for Playful Learning
Online Seminar in Designing Educational & Technological Environments for Children
Early Childhood Technology Summit (on-campus)
Save the Date: Summer 2020 In-Person Residency
Monday, July 13 – Friday, July 17, 2020
Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development
105 College Avenue
Medford, MA 02155