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Recess Time! Come Play in the Early Learning Playground

Explore and create

Explore and create : Playground

Monday, June 24, 8:00–11:30 am
Location: Playground C, Street Level, Broad Street Atrium

Sarah Allen   Gail Lovely  
Come to learn about a variety of technologies and explore how they can support student learning and growth. Play and converse with others as you explore the affordances of technologies for young learners ages 3-8. Robots, tangible tech and more!

Audience: Teachers, Technology coordinators/facilitators, Library media specialists
Skill level: Beginner
Attendee devices: Devices not needed
Participant accounts, software and other materials: Participants may find a QR Code scanner app useful in order to collect and share things they discover and experience in the playground.
Focus: Digital age teaching & learning
Topic: Early childhood/elementary
Grade level: PK-2
Subject area: STEM/STEAM, Computer science
ISTE Standards: For Coaches:
Digital Age Learning Environments
  • Collaborate with teachers and administrators to select and evaluate digital tools and resources that enhance teaching and learning and are compatible with the school technology infrastructure.
For Educators:
  • Set professional learning goals to explore and apply pedagogical approaches made possible by technology and reflect on their effectiveness.
  • Design authentic learning activities that align with content area standards and use digital tools and resources to maximize active, deep learning.
Additional detail: ISTE author presentation
Disclosure: The submitter of this session has been supported by a company whose product is being included in the session

Proposal summary

Purpose & objective

The Early Learning Network Playground is a space where educators can explore technologies designed for young children. The playground is designed to give visitors opportunities to engage in conversations with others and learn promising practices. Through conversations with educators, developers and other participants, attendees will learn more about the affordances and limitations of various tools and how they fit in early learning environments. In addition to open exploration and conversation, the playground will include presentations from educators and researchers about topics related to the use of technology in early childhood, including Kay Bitter award winners.


The playground will have multiple stations with different technologies and scenarios. Through hands-on exploration and conversation, participants will learn more about the tools and be prompted with discussion by reflective questions. During the playground, there were be short presentations from researchers and practitioners who will share concepts, research, and/or examples from real-world practice. The playground will have opportunities to explore non-screen and non-digital technology related tools as well as high-tech options.

We are looking into the possibility of including a library of children's books which would add to further discussion of Computational Thinking and coding possibilities as well as other technology-integration strategies.

Supporting research

Bers, M. U. (2008). Blocks to robots: Learning with technology in the early childhood classroom. New York, NY: Teachers College Press.
Alper, M. (2013). Developmentally appropriate New Media Literacies: Supporting cultural competencies and social skills in early childhood education. Journal of Early Childhood Literacy, 13(2), 175-196.
Donohue, C. (Ed.) (2015). Technology and digital media in the early years: Tools for teaching and learning. New York: Routledge & Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children
Marsh, J. (2006). Emergent media literacy: Digital animation in early childhood. Language and Education, 20(6), 493-506. Doi:
Simon, F. & Nemeth, K. (2010). Digital decisions: Choosing the right technology tools for early childhood education. Lewisville, NC: Gryphon House, Inc.
Takeuchi, L. M., & Vaala, S. (2014). Level up learning: A national survey on teaching with digital games. New York: The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop.
Vasquez, V. M. & Felderman, C. B. (2013). Technology and critical literacy in early childhood. New York, NY: Routledge

More [+]


Sarah Allen, Indian Creek School
Gail Lovely, Suddenly It Clicks!

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