INTEGRATING DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES IN THE EARLY CHILDHOOD CLASSROOM: HOW COMPETENT ARE IN-SERVICE UNDERGRADUATE TEACHERS?
Abstract:Digital technologies such as programmable toys, camera, android phones, IPad, lab tops, educational robots, industrial robots, videos, video games, VCDs, Internet, Photoshop suites, and the likes have become essential tools that support instructions at all levels of education. These technologies are used either directly or as items to support instruction. This situation places great demand on teachers’ competence in using these technologies effectively in the emerging teaching and learning ecosystem which demands the application of new knowledge and skills. This study investigated in service degree early childhood education teachers ‘competence in integrating digital technologies in implementing the early childhood education curriculum. The descriptive survey design was adopted for the study. The population for the study was 200 students in contact one to four in the 2022 session in Federal College of Education, Pankshin , Nigeria. The sample for the studies consisted of 150 students who were selected using simple random sampling. Five research questions guided the study. The instrument used was the Tech Check Questionnaire (TCQ). Data was analysed using mean and standard deviation to answer research questions raised. Findings indicate that teachers’ competence in using technology in areas of presentation of instructions, educational robotics and internet usage was low. It was recommended among others that hands on training on use of relevant digital technologies in presentation, educational robotics and internet use be mounted for teachers to improve competency for digital curriculum implementation.