The Tufts 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 such as schools, museums, libraries, and daycares. The program will develop students’ knowledge and skills in technology and engineering with a focus on early childhood.
This three-course blended-learning program is 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 such as KIBO, computer programming apps such as ScratchJr, engineering and building activities, and more. Students will explore the use of educational technology for young children in makerspaces and other informal learning environments.
Two courses are completed online and the final course is completed in person at Tufts University. The required courses include a foundational course on educational technology (Online Seminar on Technological Tools for Playful Learning) and a course on technology integration (Online Seminar on Designing Educational and Technological Environments for Children). An optional introductory course on early childhood education (Online Seminar in Early Childhood Education) is required for students coming into the program with no prior experience in early childhood education.
Finally, the program culminates with a one-week in-person Early Childhood Technology Residency. This intensive summit 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.
Program Faculty & Staff
Marina Umaschi Bers, Program Director
Professor Marina Umaschi Bers is a professor at the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Study and Human Development and an adjunct professor in the Computer Science Department at Tufts University. She heads the interdisciplinary Developmental Technologies Research Group. Her research involves the design and study of innovative learning technologies to promote children’s positive development.
Amanda Strawhacker, Associate Director
Amanda Strawhacker is the Associate Director for the Early Childhood Technology (ECT) Graduate Certificate Program at Tufts, and is the instructor for the Spring and Summer courses.
Amanda Sullivan, Instructor
Amanda Sullivan is the instructor for the Fall course at ECT.
Apittha (Aim) Unahalekhaka, Teaching Assistant
Aim Unahalekhaka is a Ph.D. student at the DevTech Research Group. She is currently working as a TA with the Early Childhood Technology Graduate Certificate program.
Aliza Bromberg Gaber, Teaching Assistant
Aliza Bromberg Gaber is an M.A. student at the DevTech Research Group. She is currently working as a TA with the Early Childhood Technology Graduate Certificate program.
The deadline to apply for Fall admission is August 1. A Bachelor’s degree is required to apply. GREs are not required.
Apply now by visiting: https://gradase.admissions.tufts.edu/apply/
Find out more about the program and application process by visiting the program site here: http://asegrad.tufts.edu/academics/explore-graduate-programs/early-childhood-technology
Connect With Us
If you would like to find out more about the program or find out if it is a good match for you, the program’s Associate Director, Amanda Strahacker, would be happy to set up a phone call or chat. Please contact her at: Amanda.Strawhacker@tufts.edu
For general questions, contact email@example.com
Check back soon for ways to connect and meet ECT team members at our upcoming virtual events!
- ISTE Live ’21 (International Society for Technology in Education), June 26-30, 2021.
- Massachusetts CUE Virtual Conference. February 9-12, 2021
- Spring into STEAM! During Spring 2021, ECT Associate Director Dr. Amanda Strawhacker provided FREE activity ideas for playful STEAM-themed education at home or in school!
Supporting Children through Technology during COVID-19
In light of the recent challenges during the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, and the critical new role of technology in our lives, the team at ECT has committed to curating original and independent resources for children, families, and educators to support healthy learning and growth in children through technology. These resources do not necessarily reflect the views, values, and beliefs of ECT, DevTech, or Tufts University.
Coding Stages. An infographic inspired by ECT director, Dr. Marina Bers’ book, Coding as a Playground. This infographic, created by Dr. Amanda Strawhacker, highlights milestones in children’s engagement with coding and computational thinking, and offers ways for families to recognize their young child’s progress in learning to code.
Common Phrases Adults Should Rethink. An infographic inspired by current ECT lecturer, Dr. Amanda Sullivan’s book, Breaking the STEM Stereotype. This infographic, created by Angie Kalthoff, summarizes key tips and ideas for caregivers about engaging girls in STEM.
Dear Parents, You Got This. A Medium blog post, written by ECT TA, Madhu Govind. View family tech tips as a blog post or an infographic.
Hybrid Learning to Support Children’s Positive Technological Development. A CSTA blog post series, written by Amanda Strawhacker, Ph.D., and Angie Kalthoff. Current ECT associate Director, Dr. Amanda Strawhacker, and former ECT Program Manager, Angie Kalthoff, have teamed up to co-author a series of blog posts on supporting Positive Technological Development during COVID-19. This series describes strategies for teaching and learning with young children and technology in distanced, isolated, or hybrid learning settings. Additionally, Amanda and Angie have curated these independent resources relevant to each post below. Check back throughout the 2020-21 school year to follow along with each post.
Introduction, CSTA Voice Blog, Aug 2020.
- A Trauma Informed Approach to Teaching Through Coronavirus, Teaching Tolerance, March 2020
- COVID-19 Article and Activities for Kids, PebbleGo, 2020.
- COVID-19 Resources, Responsive Teaching, 2020.
- COVID Resources, Collaborative for Academic, Social,
- and Emotional Learning (CASEL), 2020.
- Free COVID-19 & Health Equity Units for K-5, BSCS Science Learning, 2020.
- School Librarian Role in Pandemic Learning Conditions, American Association of School Librarians (AASL), 2020.
- Trauma Therapist Podcast, episode 94, Bruce Perry, M.D., Ph.D., 2020.
Community Building, CSTA Voice Blog, Oct 2020.
- 7 Activities to Build Community and Positive Classroom Culture During Online Learning, New York Times, 2020.
- Caring for Each Other, Sesame Street, 2020.
- Helping Kids Cope with Loneliness During COVID-19, Mayo Clinic, 2020.
- How to protect your family’s mental health in the face of COVID-19, UNICEF, 2020.
- Why SEL is More Important Than Ever: Meeting SEL Needs Virtually, Getting Smart, 2020.
Communication, CSTA Voice Blog, Nov 2020.
- 5 ways to help keep children learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, UNICEF, 2020.
- Communicating with Learners and Families to Support Digital Learning (Resource Compilation), Digital Promise, 2020.
- COVID-19 Resources: Free Morning Meeting Guides, Center for Responsive Schools, 2020.
- Culturally Responsive Communication: Participation that Values Individual Differences, Empowering ELLs Blog Post, March 2018.
- Helping Children Cope with Changes related to COVID-19, National Association of School Psychologists, 2020.
- How to Talk to Your Kids About Coronavirus, PBS Kids, 2020.
- Learning Seeds Library of Knowledge, Learning Seeds, 2020.
- Best Student Collaboration Tools, Common Sense Education, 2021.
- How Technology Can Encourage Student Collaboration, Common Sense Education, 2013
- The Role Of Relationships in Children’s Use Of Technology, NAEYC, 2017.
- A Culture of Kindness in Early Childhood Classrooms, Edutopia, March 2021.
- Make Tech Work for the Whole Family, Google Blog, March 2021.
- Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month (AAPI), The Library of Congress.
- Coding as Another Language Curriculum, DevTech Research Group.
- Creative Computing Curriculum, Harvard Graduate School of Education.
- ScratchJr Project Rubric for educators to evaluate creativity in ScratchJr projects, DevTech Research Group.
- What happens when students embrace Design Thinking?, John Spencer Blog, November 8, 2016.