What ECE Software Do You Need?
1/27/2022 | Mikhal Weiner
Early childhood education is a crucial step in the enrichment and development of a young person’s mind, with a lifelong impact on one’s future success. It’s easy to see why—we learn so many fundamental skills alongside our peers at an early age. Everything from collaboration and patience to a penchant for curiosity and learning is developed during our time in preschool. Sometimes this means a wide array of on-site craft supplies and plenty of songs and stories. In the era of COVID-induced school closures, though, it can look a little different. Any teacher who has been trying to navigate the complicated landscape has probably been leaning on tech to do their important job.
These days, educators have many more tools at their disposal with which to enrich and engage our kids, not to mention the technology that helps with school administration and safety. With so many ECE apps and platforms out there, how’s a teacher meant to know what to use? If you’ve found yourself perusing the app store and getting overwhelmed, this is the blog post for you. From administration to math skills, it’s all here.
Communication and Logistics
If you’ve been running an ECE center for any length of time, you know that communication with parents and guardians is both the most important and, potentially, thorniest part of the job. There are so many moving parts, and it can be hard to communicate them all to the adults in a way that’s both professional and compassionate. Plus, you want to have a platform that allows you to speak to the personal milestones of each child and also keep track of more logistical communication (schedule changes, school closures, and all the rest) without combing through your inbox. Playground is one example of the excellent apps out there that make this time-consuming task easy for educators.
Safety and Carpool Coordination
Larger ECE centers will also have to contend with the mess that is the carpool line. The simple task of keeping everyone in line and behaving appropriately can be the demise of any person’s day. Plus, there’s the added factor of mitigating safety concerns and social distancing regulations in this complicated day and age. If you want to decentralize your apps, you can use a carpool-specific program like My School Carpool. That said, it’s worth noting that Playground allows you both to digitize your drop-off and pick-up lines and to communicate with parents about any COVID-specific concerns and emergencies in one smooth app. For a busy ECE professional, this might be the better option.
Enrollment and Billing
This is another area in which early childhood educators and administrators need to make careful choices. You need to be absolutely sure that any technology you introduce doesn’t compromise the security of your community. Depending on the size of your business, you may prefer to rely on software like QuickBooks or Stripe for your bookkeeping and invoicing needs. It may be easier, though, to have everything in one place so that your enrollment and billing services are both linked (making them easier to track efficiently) and secure.
Numbers and Counting
Teaching math online can be a tall order for anyone, and especially for our littlest learners. Apps like Count Sort Match and Park Math are engaging, colorful and full of fun surprises for preschool and kindergarten aged kids who are taking on these topics for the first time. You may be surprised by how excited your students are to be learning their numbers and basic addition or subtraction when it means they get to play with the fun characters on these apps!
Letters and Reading
Educators and parents alike love the way Teach Me Toddler introduces topics like spelling, phonics, and even names of numbers. The app features a ‘teacher’ mouse who helps little ones navigate the various games and challenges, and comes in different skill levels for children of varying ages. The only drawback to this app is that it is only compatible with Apple products, so if your classroom runs on Android it’s better to go for SpellWizards (a magical-themed app) or https://www.spellingshed.com/en-us, which are both compatible across a number of operating systems.
Technology may seem daunting, but it’s there to uplift and enhance your abilities as an ECE professional. Consider your specific needs, the size of your program, and the areas which could use a little extra oomph. Whatever your needs, there’s almost certainly an app that’s just right for you.
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