Making use of Technologies Advantages

Making use of Technologies Advantages

Making use of Technologies Advantages 790 590 Nursery Story

Technology is embedded in the way we live our lives personally, socially and professionally and is evolving at a phenomenal rate. Irrespective of our own personal feelings regarding the use of technology, it is important to acknowledge that technology is used to varying degrees in the majority of education and care settings for many differing purposes, from supporting staff with their roles, to devices used by children and software to interact with parents.

We know that we have a responsibility to ourselves and our children to develop an understanding of the digital world around us and consider how we can harness the power and value of technology and utilise it to do good, supporting each child to reach their potential.

How technology, specifically early years software used by staff working directly with children, is used within early years and education settings can evoke many feelings for both educators and parents alike. 

Some feel that

  • Early years settings should be a technology-free sanctuary for children, where children can play and be creative without digital distractions .
  • Devices such as tablets and phones are often a barrier to interacting and being in tune with children.
  • Software platforms are deskilling teachers, as there can be an over-reliance on algorithms to assess children’s progress and identify their next steps.

Whereas others feel that when used purposefully

  • There are benefits to quickly recording observations, images and videos on a tablet ‘in the moment’.
  • Software can enhance working in partnership with parents and give them a snapshot of their child’s experiences.
  • Money can be saved by reduced printing and photocopying costs, and valuable time can be saved, allowing teachers to spend more time with their children.

One of the first places to think about when introducing technology to your setting, or auditing your current practice, is to think about how technology fits into the vision, values and ethos of your practice.

  • What are your specific personal views about using technology?
  • What is important to you at your setting?
  • How does your pedagogy best support children’s learning and development?
  • How do you work in partnership with your families and community?

Working with your team to develop a shared understanding of how you support children and families is essential, by having this level of thought, scrutiny and honest dialogue you will be empowering your team and will have an informed, shared approach to how to support children and families. It is beneficial to identify and prioritise the primary uses of technology at your setting.

Some key uses include using early years software to –

  • Record learning & development observations
  • Send photos and updates to parents
  • Share daily care activity updates with parents
  • To have a digital register and have a record of children’s bookings and attendance
  • To look at occupancy and grow your business
  • To help plan staffing and ensure you have the correct number of staff.

Once you have a shared understanding of the rationale behind the platform or software and how you plan to use it, make sure this is something that is woven into your policies and procedures so staff and families know what to expect. Think about any training or knowledge building that might be required and whether there are any innovative ways you can support your team to retain this and keep it alive, taking into account different learning styles. It is important to regularly review and reflect on whether what you are doing is still relevant, or needs adapting. 

  • Are there additional ways you could be gaining feedback for staff, families and children?
  • Do you regularly discuss your use of technology and software at staff meetings and 1:1 sessions? 
  • Does your team have the knowledge and skills to effectively use the technology you use, or do they need upskilling?
  • Do all new staff and families get information about the software and technology you use as part of their induction?

At a time when austerity measures continue to have a huge impact on the well-being of our workforce, and the impact this has on children and families, it is well worth thinking about whether there are any opportunities to streamline or remove processes in order to benefit your staff and children without compromising on the quality of your provision. Some of the settings have started this process by:

  • Auditing the time staff spend directly interacting with the children
  • Looking at the number and quality of observations staff are writing
  • Speaking to their team about the purposes of the software and how this fits in with the values and ethos of the setting.
  • Seeking the views of children about how they feel about staff using tablets and devices.
  • Consulting with parents about the software and technology used at the setting.

If you do identify a disparity with how software and technology is used in the setting are you able to pinpoint why this is? It may be the case that where there are concerns regarding the practice of using technology that this is down to a lack of clarity on how to effectively use it, missed opportunities for reflection and sharing best practices, or a lack of understanding of the purposes and value of the software being utilised within your setting.

For more information about how to use software programmes to benefit your setting visit


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