New early years resources to support practitioners to use technology

16 Jun 2016

We have today published a range of early years resources to support practitioners to use technology in their settings. 

The resources were created as part of our Helping Early Language and Literacy Outcomes (HELLO) programme. Funded by the Department for Education, HELLO worked with practitioners in more than 70 early years settings across the country to look at how technology can help to develop pre-school children’s early communication, language and literacy skills.

We have produced video case studies for practitioners showcasing best practice for using touchscreens and a range of planning templates and activity sheets for use in early years settings. Free resources, as well as resources accessible to National Literacy Trust members, can be viewed here.

The resources have been published as our latest early years research shows that while access to touchscreens in early years settings has increased, early years practitioners lack confidence in using technology.

Our third Early Years Literacy Survey in partnership with Pearson, The Use of Technology to Support Literacy in the Early Years, found that 58.2% of early years practitioners had access to touchscreens in 2015, compared to 41.1% in 2014.  

However, fewer practitioners used touchscreens to share stories in 2015 (40.8%) than in 2014 (49.1%). Of these, only half (55.1%) are confident doing so, compared to 82.2% who are confident using books. 

View our range of early years tech resources

Read about the LiteracyApps guide, which helps parents choose apps that support early literacy.

Early years practitioners are not using technology to the same degree as parents and only half are confident in doing so to develop children’s early communication skills. Our research shows practitioners are less confident using touchscreens than books to share stories with children, although using technology can particularly benefit boys and children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Now is an important time for early years practitioners to look at how they can support children’s future learning in a digital age. To increase practitioners’ confidence in using touchscreens and supporting parents with using technology, we have designed a range of exciting new resources including videos for practitioners and activity sheets

Our Early Years Project Manager Charlotte Billington at the National Literacy Trust