The role of ICT in early childhood education: Scale development and research on ICT use and influencing factors

Nowadays, more and more authors are convinced that ICT (information and communication technology) in early childhood education provides multiple possibilities for young children. The current study, conducted in Flanders, aims to get a clearer picture of ICT use in Flemish preschools. For this purpose, a questionnaire was composed consisting of newly developed and existing scales. Based on the answers of 232 preschool teachers, two types of ICT use are distinguished in early childhood education, ‘ICT use supporting basic ICT skills and attitudes’, and ‘ICT use supporting contents and individual learning needs’. ‘ICT use supporting basic ICT skills and attitudes’ occurs more frequently and is related to the grade of the preschoolers, teachers’ self-perceived ICT competences and the number of years of experience with ICT at school. ‘ICT use supporting contents and individual learning needs’ is strongly related to the grade of the preschoolers, teachers’ self-perceived ICT competences, ICT professional development and teachers’ attitudes towards the possibilities of ICT for teachers in early childhood education. This indicates that professional development is a crucial factor in stimulating ICT use that transcends teaching basic ICT skills and attitudes.

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