Therefore, early childhood educators have a responsibility to critically examine the impact of technology on children and be prepared to use technology to benefit children. Market researchers tracking software trends have identified that the largest software growth recently has been in new titles and companies serving the early childhood educational market. Of the people who own home computers and have young children, 70% have purchased educational software for their children to use (SPA Consumer Market Report 1996).
While many new titles are good contributions to the field, an even larger number are not (Hoagland & Shade 1994). Early childhood educators must take responsibility to Influence events that are transforming the dally lives of children and families. This statement addresses overall issues related to technology’s use with young children: (1 ) the essential role of the teacher in evaluating appropriate uses of technology; (2) the potential benefits of appropriate use of technology in early childhood programs; (3) the integration of technology into the typical learning environment.
The teacher’s role is critical in making certain that good decisions are made about which technology to use and in supporting children in their use of technology to ensure that potential benefits are achieved. For several decades after the war, we did not perceive the need for a technology policy to complement this science policy. After all, the U. S. Economy enjoyed significant spillover dividends from defense R&D expenditures, and the largely self-sufficient U. S. Riveter sector was ahead of other countries In Its capability to Invest In technology and capture the economic benefits of basic research. Today, the united states faces a new environment: Natural resources, what we dig out of the ground, are being replaced by knowledge and technology, what we dig out of our minds, as the source of national economic competitiveness. Leading-edge technologies often find their first application in the civilian sector and only much later in defense, if at all. For example, the 8088 Intel microprocessor used in the Patriot missile, which symbolized U.
S. High-tech defense systems in the Gulf war, is three generations old and is not even used in today’s personal computers. The resources needed to develop technology are increasing dramatically and, In many cases, are far greater than any Individual company can afford. It can cost $1 billion to bring to market a new Jet engine for commercial airliners. On average, It takes about 12 years and over $200 million for a pharmaceutical firm to develop a new drug. Increased International competition has De to shorter product cycles, putting even more stress on resources.
The product life pressure on firms to constantly upgrade existing products and develop new ones. Some foreign competitors have succeeded by exploiting a new innovation system that links R tightly to market needs. In 1975, the Japanese auto industry held only 10% of the U. S. Market; today, it has about 30% of the U. S. Market. It did so, not by devoting massive resources to basic research, but by stressing incremental improvements in existing technology, rigorous quality control, rapid time-to-market, and tight inventory controls.