foreword Early childhood educators, it must be said, have not always welcomed technol-
ogy with open arms. Some have concerns about whether computers, video, and
the like take away time that children would better spend in play and other active
and social pursuits. They worry about the excessive screen time in children’s
lives today. And these are valid concerns. Some uses of technology are, to say the
least, a waste of children’s time. At worst, they can contribute to children getting
the habit of defaulting to passive and empty entertainment to occupy their time.
Early childhood educators and parents should continue to oppose such excessive
and inappropriate use of technology.
But this is not the kind of technology use that this excellent book describes.
Rather, Brian Puerling shows us many lively, engaging, social, and thought-
provoking ways to use technology with young children. He has been busily
engaging with teachers and children in classrooms, including his own, and
gleaning ideas from many people who are doing innovative things in learning
environments. He shares inspiring ideas about a range of tools, from digital
cameras to iPads, videoconferencing to audiorecorders. But the book is not
really about technology; it is about learning, creativity, and engagement. The
author knows a great deal about what interests and challenges children and has
given a great deal of thought and study to how technology can be a catalyst and
tool in many learning enterprises.
Further, Teaching in the Digital Age brings us not only the author’s expertise
but also the perspectives of more than a dozen other respected thinkers in the
field, through both text and video segments. One such expert is Bonnie Blago-
jevic, a leader in developmentally appropriate technology integration, who gives
this view of the rich potential that technology has for young children:
if we feel strongly about educational topics such as nature appreciation,
play, language, diversity, and social-emotional development, let’s consider
how technology can support these priorities. show children how to use
nature webcams on the internet to peek into an eagle’s nest and watch