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Knowledge From the Field

Take a Giant Step: A Blueprint for Teaching Young Children in a Digital Age

Published: November 2011

Publisher(s): Joan Ganz Cooney Center; Stanford University

Author(s): Barron, Brigid; Laura Bofferding; Gabrielle Cayton-Hodges; Carol Copple; Linda Darling-Hammond; Michael H. Levine

Funder(s): Joyce Foundation

Related Organization(s): Stanford University

View Report (56 pages; 1.02MB; PDF)

Take a Giant Step

Area of Focus: Digital Learning; Early Learning


The report offers a blueprint to raise the quality of teaching in U.S. schools through the integration of technology, particularly in early education. The report reviews the state of teacher preparation and professional development regarding technology integration, highlights best practices, and outlines goals for the nation to meet by 2020 with steps to achieve them.

Key Findings and/or Recommendations

=In a world where digital technologies are ubiquitous, educators must establish new forms of practice, supported by the most modern and productive technology tools available.

=Technology is most productive in young children’s lives when it enhances children’s engagement in a variety of activities and deepens their reflections about their actions and experiences.

=There is a disparity between the preparedness of the early childhood workforce and the level of effective practice needed to achieve desired outcomes, and professional development through digital technologies provides opportunities as well as challenges.

=Five key goals for the nation to meet by 2020 are: 1) Modernizing program designs and professional development models; 2) Training early educators to integrate digital and screen media into their teaching practice in developmentally appropriate ways; 3) Expanding the use of public media as a resource for teachers; 4) Integrating technology across standards, curriculum, and teacher professional development; and 5) Creating R&D partnerships for a digital age.

Focus: National

Subjects/Keywords: Digital Learning; Early Education; Professional Development; Technology Integration

+ Successful strategy
= Observation
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