Technology and Social-Emotional Development in the Early Childhood Environments

Technology and Social-Emotional Development in the Early Childhood Environments

Judy Brown (Newbern Elementary School - Tennessee, USA), Denise L. Winsor (The University of Memphis, USA) and Sally Blake (Flagler College, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61350-317-1.ch006
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The research about the importance of social and emotional roles in learning has increased the focus in many early childhood programs on the social-emotional domains of development. The perceptions of the effects computers and other technology tools have on social/emotional development of young children may influence the acceptance and use of technology in these classrooms. This chapter discusses the research related to technology and social-emotional development, parents’ perceptions of what social interactions are important in relation to child-to-child and child-to adult realm, theoretical influences on educational environments, and approaches to intentional use of tools to support these important domains. Technology has changed the socio-cultural environment globally and we, as educators of young children, need to change how we approach social and emotional support for our children.
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Introduction: Social-Emotional Development

When one observes educational environments it is clear that along with academic challenges, social competence issues are concerns that must be effectively addressed in order to promote safe and stimulating learning environments for all children as well as teachers. Findings published in a report by the Commission on Children at Risk (2003) report indicate high and increasing rates of depression, conduct, emotional, and behavioral disorders in children. However, the report also points to the fact that through neuroscience, we have discovered the need for each child to have purposeful, personal relationships based on the idea that a child’s brain is hardwired to connect to other people and for moral meaning (Commission on Children at Risk, 2003). A growing body of literature suggests that emotion related processes are necessary for skills and knowledge to be transferred from a school environment to real world decision making (Immordino-Yang & Damasio, 2007). Immordino-Yang and Damasio (2007) suggest that emotions may play a vital role in helping children decide when and how to apply what they have learned in school to their lives at home. While a child’s brain can re-wire itself to learn languages or overcome reading deficits, this is not the case with social, moral, and emotional development. An article entitled, Tools that Address Social Development by W. Stephen Barnett (2007), Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, acknowledges that “the experiences children have during their preschool years can critically shape the way they think and react to challenges throughout their lives” (p.2). Children must be competent, not only in academic pursuits, but also in social endeavors that will help them initiate, understand, and maintain positive relationships with other children and adults.

The research about the importance of social and emotional roles in learning has increased the focus in many early childhood programs on the social-emotional domains of development. In most ECE programs the two terms are linked together. For purposes of this chapter we consider emotional as the attainment of emotional capabilities and their expansion as the child grows. We consider social as the development of interaction with the human world around, including relationships with others and also the social skills we need to fit into our culture or society. The combination of the two terms refers to the developing capacity to experience and regulate emotions, form secure relationships, and explore and learn—all in the context of the child's family, community and cultural background.

Complete Chapter List

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Susan Feld
Sally Blake, Denise L. Winsor, Lee Allen
Sally Blake, Denise L. Winsor, Lee Allen
Chapter 1
Denise L. Winsor, Sally Blake
Personal Epistemology is the study of an individual’s beliefs about the nature of knowledge and the process of knowing (Hofer & Pintrich, 1997). The... Sample PDF
Socrates and Descartes Meet the E*Trade Baby: The Impact of Early Technology on Children’s Developing Beliefs about Knowledge and Knowing
Chapter 2
Denise L. Winsor
The purpose of this chapter is to raise questionable doubt about young children’s abilities to engage in more sophisticated thinking; and the impact... Sample PDF
The Epistemology of Young Children
Chapter 3
Lee Allen, Denise L. Winsor, Sally Blake
Technology has and does influence the social-cultural development of any population. Some see environment, social, cultural, or philosophical... Sample PDF
Historical Perspectives of the Concept of Child and Technology Innovation
Chapter 4
Sally Blake, Denise L. Winsor, Candice Burkett, Lee Allen
This chapter explores perceptions about technology and young children and includes results of a survey answered by Instructional Design and... Sample PDF
iPods, Internet and Apps, Oh My: Age Appropriate Technology in Early Childhood Educational Environments
Chapter 5
Allison Sterling Henward
This chapter will examine how preschool teachers can facilitate the use of popular culture oriented technology in the classroom. Acknowledging that... Sample PDF
Ariel and Buzz Lightyear are Coming to School: Incorporating Children’s Popular Culture Ideas in the Classroom
Chapter 6
Judy Brown, Denise L. Winsor, Sally Blake
The research about the importance of social and emotional roles in learning has increased the focus in many early childhood programs on the... Sample PDF
Technology and Social-Emotional Development in the Early Childhood Environments
Chapter 7
Laura Baylot Casey, Kay C. Reeves, Elisabeth C. Conner
Child development experts have been raising alarms about the increasingly didactic and test-driven path of early childhood education as many... Sample PDF
Using Technology in the World of Play
Chapter 8
Angeline Powell, Beverly B. Ray
We owe a debt to our children. We have failed to prepare our students for global competiveness, especially in mathematics. As educators, we need to... Sample PDF
Supporting Mathematics for Young Children through Technology
Chapter 9
Inquiry and Technology  (pages 169-193)
Sally Blake, Amy Rebecca Gentry
This chapter will provide research about the intuitive and developing inquiry reasoning in young children, how their teachers perceive science, and... Sample PDF
Inquiry and Technology
Chapter 10
Sara Bicard, David F. Bicard, Kathryn Nichols, Esther Plank
This chapter will describe how multiple tiers of increasingly intensive interventions function as early intervening services and how technology can... Sample PDF
Technology for Multi-Tiered Interventions for Reading and Behavior in Early Childhood Education
Chapter 11
Carolyn Awalt, Marsha Lawler, Sally Blake
The use of technology in classrooms is influenced by teacher attitudes. This is particularly true about classroom elements relating to teacher... Sample PDF
Using Technology in Self and Peer Reflective Assessment
Chapter 12
Jessika C. Boles, Denise L. Winsor
Even though parenting may have originated out of evolutionary necessity, parenting today has taken on many different meanings related to the larger... Sample PDF
Learning, Growing, and Connecting in Sickness and in Health: Exploring Technology, Parenting, and Young Children with Serious Medical Illnesses and Chronic Disabilities
Chapter 13
Laura Baylot Casey, Robert L. Williamson
Parents encounter many challenges when facing the need to raise and support a child with a disability. Many find technology to be of assistance... Sample PDF
A Parent’s Guide to Support Technologies for Preschool Students with Disabilities
Chapter 14
Andrea Peach, Susan Bell, Alexandru Spatariu
Preschool and young school-aged children use the internet at high rates, and with this access, parents and educators worry about safety issues.... Sample PDF
Internet Safety: Proactively Protecting Young Children from Internet Threats
Chapter 15
Trey Martindale, Renita Russell
This chapter provides an explanation and examples of both established and emerging online tools designed for young children, and the parents and... Sample PDF
Connecting, Collaborating, and Learning Online
About the Contributors