position statements
Infants and Toddlers
Pre-schoolers and Kindergarteners
During the earliest years, infants and toddlers interact primarily with people. Their interactions with toys are usually in the context of human interaction as well. They need to freely explore, manipulate, and test everything in the environment. Increasingly in today’s world, this includes the exploration of technology tools and interactive media. Children of this age are drawn to push-button switches and controls. Technology tools that infants and toddlers might use must be safe, sturdy, and not easily damaged. If technology is used, it must be in the context of conversation and interactions with an adult
During the preschool years, young children are developing a sense of initiative and creativity. They are curious about the world around them and about learning. They are exploring their ability to create and communicate using a variety of media (crayons, felt-tip markers, paints and other art materials, blocks, dramatic play materials, miniature life figures) and through creative movement, singing, dancing, and using their bodies to represent ideas and experiences. Digital technologies provide one more outlet for them to demonstrate their creativity and learning
Examples – Infants and Toddlers
Examples - Pre-schoolers and Kindergarteners
  • Allow children to explore digital materials in the context of human interactions, with an adult as mediator and co-player. As with shared book reading, use shared technology time as an opportunity to talk with children, use new vocabulary, and model appropriate use.
  • Avoid passive screen time. While some parents may claim that baby videos calm an otherwise fussy child, there is little research to suggest that infants and toddlers learn from watching videos. If infants are distressed, they need the comfort of a caring adult, not an electronic toy.
  • Use technology as an active and engaging tool when appropriate to provide infants and toddlers with access to images of their families and friends, animals and objects in the environment, and a wide range of diverse images of people and things they might not otherwise encounter (photos of children from other countries, for example).
  • Incorporate assistive technologies as appropriate for children with special needs and/or developmental delays.
  • Make digital audio or video files to document children’s progress.
  • Allow children to freely explore touch screens loaded with a wide variety of developmentally appropriate interactive media experiences that are well designed and enhance feelings of success.
  • Provide opportunities for children to begin to explore and feel comfortable using “traditional” mouse and keyboard computers to  use Websites or look up answers with a search engine.
  • Capture photos of block buildings or artwork that children have created; videotape dramatic play to replay for children.
  • Celebrate children’s accomplishments with digital media displayed on a digital projector or on a classroom Website.
  • Incorporate assistive technologies as appropriate for children with special needs and/or developmental delays.
  • Record children’s stories about their drawings or their play; make digital audio or video files to document their progress.
  • Explore digital storytelling with children. Co-create digital books with photos of the children’s play or work; attach digital audio files with the child as the narrator. 

When it comes to how our teachers use technology and interactive media with your children, the Community School has adopted the joint position of the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College.  These subject matter experts have provided comprehensive, thoughtful, and age-specific guidelines that the Community School is proud to adopt.

​Advances in technology and interactive media rapidly are transforming how we communicate and use information in our homes, offices, and early childhood settings. This position statement offers guidance—based on research-based knowledge of how young children grow and learn—on both the opportunities and the challenges of the use of technology and interactive media.

Key Messages:

  • When used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media are effective tools to support learning and development.
  • Intentional use requires early childhood teachers and administrators to have information and resources regarding the nature of these tools and the implications of their use with children.
  • Limitations on the use of technology and media are important.
  • Special considerations must be given to the use of technology with infants and toddlers.
  • Attention to digital citizenship and equitable access is essential.
  • Ongoing research and professional development are needed.
Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media