Since the 1990s, an exponential growth in the global use of information and communication technologies (ICT) has been observed, influencing the lives of children from birth. Studies investigating the use of ICT in young children have indicated that many young children raised in media-rich environments develop a wide range of skills, knowledge, and understanding of media from birth (Rideout, Vandewater & Wartella, 2003). According to the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department, the percentage of the Hong Kong family household with personal computers (PCs) at home has risen from 49.7% in 2000 to 75.8% in 2009, and the percentage of households having their PCs connected to the Internet surged from 36.4% (2000) to 73.3% (2009). Widespread technology means that people encounter more information in a greater variety of formats than before. Along with this, the development of ICT literacy has become a critical mission of educational organizations. However, the Hong Kong Census and Statistics Department only provides statistics on technology use in persons aged 10 or above, and the use of technology in younger children (aged below 10) remains unclear. The findings of the study revealed that the increasing use of ICT in the classroom and the lack of training for teachers raise concern on the effectiveness of using ICT to assist teaching. Apart from the lack of regulations and guidelines ensuring the quality of ICT teaching, this area of education should also stand out as the key area by which to improve policymaking.
|Keywords:||Information and Communication Technologies, Early Childhood Education, Teaching Practice, Pre-primary Education|
Lecturer, Department of Early Childhood Education, Hong Kong Institute of Education, Hong Kong, Hong Kong