Thank You for Six Amazing Years!
The Early Childhood Technology online-blended graduate certificate program launched in 2015 under the direction of Prof. Marina Umaschi Bers and Associate Director Dr. Amanda Sullivan. From our first cohort of 16 students, ECT grew into a thriving, diverse, and global community of students and alumni, serving hundreds of children in 25 US states and 8 countries around the world.
Our alumni community members, representing teachers, museum curators, children’s center directors, and university professors, have made incredible achievements during the past six years. From spearheading STEAM initiatives to help all children feel welcome and included in the world of science, technology, and engineering; to presenting empirical research on educational technology at conferences; to starting their own innovative tech-rich children’s centers, our alumni have always made us proud.
Learn how the ECT program has helped early childhood practitioners integrate technology and engineering education.
We are so proud and honored by all the accomplishments and ongoing initiatives in our community, and we thank Tufts University for being our host organization from 2015-2022!
A New Beginning
The ECT program Director, Dr. Marina Umaschi Bers, has accepted a position as the Augustus Long Professor of Education at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education starting in September 2022. Due to this transition, the ECT program will complete the current academic year at Tufts University, and is not currently accepting applications for future years.
The research, professional development, and outreach conducted by ECT will evolve and continue through the work of Dr. Bers’ DevTech Research Group at her new home in Boston College. Please visit the DevTech Research Group website to learn more, and join the DevTech mailing list to receive updates about future professional development and training opportunities!
Visit the Tufts Graduate Programs website to learn about other graduate programs at Tufts University.
Please feel free to reach out with more questions, and in the meantime check out our ECT Twitter page to learn of upcoming events where you can see ECT staff and faculty share resources and evidence about early childhood technology!
Faculty and alumni from ECT’s 2021 virtual 5-year reunion
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.
- CS Ed Week ’21 PD and educator resource recommendations
- 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.
Resources: 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.
Content Creation, CSTA Voice Blog, Apr 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.