The Early Childhood Technology (ECT) certificate program is designed for educators and practitioners working with young children in pre-kindergarten through second grade in diverse educational settings. Despite the national push to make technology and engineering a priority in early childhood education, research indicates that few teachers have a background that prepares them to adequately achieve this. In addition to teachers who work in formal school settings, there are a growing number of practitioners and professionals working with young children in informal educational settings such as museums, libraries, daycares, camps, maker-spaces, after-school programs and other learning environments, who are feeling an increased need to integrate technology into their work with young children. The ECT certificate program is designed to meet the needs of these busy professionals by offering a blended program that is completed predominantly online (with only one on-campus requirement) at the student's own pace in order to allow participants across the U.S. and the world to increase their confidence teaching with and through new technologies.
The program will have three courses housed within the Department of Child Study & Human Development. The program philosophy is inspired by over a decade and a half of research on early childhood technology by the DevTech Research Group led by Professor Marina Umaschi Bers. Through the content courses students will have hands-on experience with using developmentally appropriate robotics kits, computer programming apps, engineering, and building activities, and more. Students will explore the use of educational technology for young children in maker-spaces and other informal learning environments.
The first two courses are completed online and the final course is completed in person at Tufts University. The first online course provides a foundational introduction to educational technology (Online Seminar on Technological Tools for Playful Learning). The second course (Online Seminar in Designing Educational and Technological Environments for Children) explores designing tech-rich spaces for children such as makerspaces, classroom centers, libraries, and museum exhibits. For students with no background in early childhood education or teaching, an additional course (Online Seminar in Early Childhood Education) will be required in order to provide a solid theoretical and pedagogical understanding of best practices working with children.
Finally, the program culminates with a one-week in-person Early Childhood Technology Residency (the last required class). This intensive residency allows students to spend one week working with program faculty from the DevTech Research Group and exploring curriculum development with educational technologies. During this time, students will also get to work hands-on with children, implementing curricular experiences at the Eliot-Pearson Children’s School and complete guided observations in a supervised setting. This residency also allows students to build connections with their certificate program cohort.
Sample Student Schedule
1) Online Seminar on Technological Tools for Playful Learning
2) Online Seminar on Early Childhood Education
|3) Online Seminar is Social and Emotional Development in Schools
||4) Early Childhood Technology Summit (on-campus)
- Application Fee
- Personal Statement
- Please provide a description of a significant science, technology, engineering, arts, or mathematical (STEAM) learning experience that you have had (or experienced with a student) that inspires you to be a part of this program.
- Official TOEFL or IELTS, if applicable
- One Letter of Recommendation