Dec. 24, 2020
The use of technology in the early childhood classroom has been a conversation of debate for many years.
The new normal. How many times has that been said in recent months? COVID-19 has forced all of us to adjust to a different way of life. Much of settling into this “new normal” has involved technology. Many of us who work from home participate in video calls with colleagues.
It has become commonplace to schedule virtual happy hours to connect with friends and family members. Even my two-year-old enjoys weekly music classes, Dolly Parton story times, and virtual playdates, all of which are online.
While technology has made life more bearable for most of us during the pandemic, the painful reality is that, for some schools and their students, the transition to technology has been challenging. Curriculum used in the classroom doesn’t always translate easily to a distance learning environment. For schools lacking technology solutions, teachers and students were left trying to piece together paper-based solutions or — sometimes even more frustrating — utilize outdated technology. Not surprising, these options have had limited results, vexing parents and producing serious learning gaps for children.
At Hatch, we have approached the distance learning challenge with an understanding that the teacher-child-parent relationship triangle is vital for early childhood learning. As such, distance learning solutions that connect teachers and families seamlessly are likely to be far more effective. Calling upon decades of experience in educational technology, we realized very quickly that the only real solution was a connected learning experience. The learning that happens in the classroom must be possible in the home. Furthermore, children’s progress needs to be monitored consistently and seamlessly, no matter where a child is learning; and it’s imperative that this data be actionable, objective, and easy for teachers to access, understand, and respond to.
Ignite by Hatch is a digital learning platform comprised of 203 research-backed, play-based digital experiences that can be accessed in the classroom, the home, or wherever learning is happening. In essence Ignite bridges the teacher-child-parent triangle with a connected learning experience. When children play Ignite, data about their progress is provided to teachers and parents in real-time. Teachers and parents can then respond based on each child’s progress (and gaps), leveraging teacher-led and in-home experiences that reinforce key development skills. This allows everyone to work together to help children progress toward their next developmental milestone.
As we continue to move through this pandemic and lean into the “the new normal,” one thing is clear: Technology IS the solution. Innovations like Ignite are not only serving us through this challenging season; they are also reshaping how we view and interact with the world around us. We all look forward to returning to the familiar normalcy of movie theaters, restaurants, and concert halls. But it’s exciting to consider the potential long-term impact of newer technologies. Could they challenge the status quo and bring about lasting change? Could a product like Ignite help more parents understand the importance of Pre-K education? Could the ability to track their child’s progress encourage more parents to actively engage with their child’s skill development? At Hatch, we are hopeful that technology innovations will improve the quality and accessibility of early childhood education in this “new normal” and beyond.
To learn more about Ignite, please visit our Ignite web page
As I sit here patiently waiting for the birth of my daughter in less than 3 months, I all too often picture
Adding the right technology to your early learning program takes time and shouldn't be rushed. (No one likes