Technology can be implemented very successfully into classrooms with very young learners. Here are some tips for doing this effectively:

  1. Start simply. Much as children in kindergarten or first grade are shown new concepts (numbers, days of the week, weather, etc.) in visually appealing forms, the web should be approached in the same way. Teachers must direct this activity, instead of expecting children to be able to explore on their own. Show children age-appropriate, colorful web sites, and incorporate these sites into lessons on basic subjects.

  2. Allow careful exploration. By the time students are in second grade, they may be able to look at web sites on their own—with limitations. Have the students perform a few simple hunt-and-find exercises on web sites you’ve already chosen. Have them write down what they have found and, maybe, how they found it.

  3. Get parents involved. Print out pages from web sites that have been visited in the classroom, and keep these in folders or booklets for parent conferences. This will show parents what is being done and what they can do with their children at home, if they have access to a computer.

  4. Use WebQuests. WebQuests are highly popular lessons that have been developed by teachers around the world to encourage student use of web sites. Through search engines, it’s easy to find WebQuests that cover almost any topic to complement a classroom curriculum.