Teaching in the Digital Age: The Digital Classroom

teaching in the digital age chapter 1
Disclosure: Amazon links included below

Welcome to the Teaching in the Digital Age book study! Before we hit the ground running I just wanted to remind everybody how it works, you can find the details here. The linky at the bottom is open so please feel free to join in and link up your posts or comment. You can get your copy of the book, Teaching in the Digital Age by Brian Puerling at Amazon.

If you are like me you usually skip the introduction and go straight to the good stuff, am I right? I encourage you not to skip this one because Brian (the author) establishes the tone and sets the expectations for the book in the intro which made me want to continue reading. He addressed some key points and answered several of the questions I had such as:

  • How does the book align with the NAEYC position statement on technology?
  • Who is this book written for?
  • What types of technology skills do readers need to have in order to use this book?
  • In what ways can technology be used to enhance learning?

I think what intrigued me the most about the introduction was the revelation that QR codes would be embedded throughout the book that take you to videos of technology in action as well as printable forms that can be used to plan, reflect, and evaluate technology use in the classroom- score! If you don’t know what a QR code is don’t worry, there are also urls included the book.

teachers need to explore technology quote

Big ideas from Chapter 1

  • “Technology is changing the way we teach.”
  • “Young children are growing up in a digital world.” Children today are digital natives.
  • Technology is a tool teachers can use to support lifelong learning.”
  • No matter where you are, there is a way to obtain technology for your classroom. Grant programs are included in chapter 9.
  • “Early childhood educators need to be digitally literate.” (Chip Donohue)
  • “Nobody will uninvent the iPad. It’s time for early childhood educators to embrace these tools to…prepare young children for success in the digital age.” Warren Buckleitner
  • Goals for technology use and integration need to be manageable and measurable.
  • Here’s my favorite, “Technology is never to supplant, it is to supplement.” Sound familiar folks? It’s very similar to the mantra that I’ve been chanting for years, “Technology can enhance teaching but never replace it.” I knew I liked this book :)

There are 5 forms included at the end of the first chapter, they are:

  • Goal Setting
  • Planning for Student Equipment Use
  • Classroom Equipment Survey
  • Assessing Your Skills
  • Curriculum Map

These forms can be used as a guide as you look at ways to integrate technology into your classroom.

If you are thinking about adding a new piece of technology to your program I suggest playing with it on your own first so you can become comfortable with it. I remember getting a projector and document camera in my classroom several years ago. I was terrified of them and I had no idea how to use them in my classroom. Our day was already so packed I couldn’t fathom taking time out to use these new tools. As I became more comfortable using them I also began to realize that I didn’t need to find any “extra time” in our day to utilize these tools, they could be easily integrated into our already existing routine to enhance learning. This equipment has become such an integral part of the way I now teach I can’t imagine ever teaching without them.

What did you think about Chapter 1? Leave a comment below

Join us next week for Chapter 2: Using Photographs and Images to Inspire hosted by Dr. Jean

teaching in the digital age book study button

About Vanessa Levin

Vanessa is the creator of Pre-K Pages and author of the book A Fabulous First Year and Beyond: A Practical Guide for Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers. She has more than two decades of teaching experience and enjoys helping kids and teachers through her professional development sessions. Follow Vanessa on Facebook, Google +, Twitter and Pinterest.


  1. I’ve just started a teacher blog for the coming year and I saw this blog study and thought I’d link up since it is right along the lines of my goals for the coming year. I teach kindergarten and am amazed at the digital literacy the students are already bring with them to the classroom. One of my favorite tidbits from this past year was watching my children go to the art center and creating cell phones for each other. They carefully folded the paper and wrote their number pad on clearly. They then were exchanging numbers and calling each other as we headed out at the end of the day. This was one of their favorite projects as they always had to keep updated with the latest models (LOL).
    Chapter 1 spoke of making goals and then setting on the path to obtain those goals. One of the questions I am asking myself right now is…What technology is already available, and how can I use it more fully as well as, what is on my wish list and how can I obtain it?
    Setting goals is crucial as well as reflecting on things you’ve already tried and need to tweak a little more, revise, or throw out. Each group of students is a little different so we always need to be ready to adapt our plans and processes…but isn’t that a big part of the digital age… adapting, changing, creating, problem solving, and communicating our ideas, questions, and solutions?
    I agree also that these are merely more tools to help us teach our students. It is teachers who will use these tools to facilitate, inspire, and to engage our learners. I can’t wait to see the upcoming posts in this study. I look forward to seeing all of your ideas!

    • V. Levin says:

      Hi Ginger, Thanks for joining us and for linking up, we’re so glad you are participating and can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the other chapters!

  2. Amy Smythe says:

    I am waiting for my book to arrive but cannot wait to participate! Love this idea of the blog party.

  3. Great summary, Vanessa. I think this chapter made me think more about how I’m using technology…and how I could use it more. I’m thinking of a few goals for the future.

    I linked up my post on this chapter. Thanks for starting off the party with a terrific post.

  4. My book came in the mail today, and I am so excited about this book study! I am a special education teacher in a Pre-K inclusion classroom. I am lucky to have lots of technology, but no clue where to begin with using it. I look forward to seeing how everyone uses their technology and hopefully get some great ideas to take back to school this next year.

    • Deborah says:

      I am also looking forward to ideas on how to use technology in my classroom too Shonda! It is so nice that we can all learn this way together:)

  5. I am friends with Brian, the author of this book and I am so excited that you are reading his book! He is an incredible educator and is very thoughtful about how he integrates technology into his teaching. I’ll be excited to hear your thoughts and comments!

    • Deborah says:

      What a wonderful friend to have Yadi! How fun is that?

      • I agree with Deborah, that is pretty awesome. I am really enjoying the writing process of this book!

        • I can tell you that Brian was extremely thoughtful about the whole process and really wanted to be sure it was functional for the adults as well as provide appropriate learning for the kids. It was interesting to learn a little about the whole publishing process, too :)

  6. Heather says:

    Thanks so much to everyone for sharing their thoughts! As an educational game and app developer for preschoolers, KneeBouncers is keenly interested in how technology can be used to support learning in preschool environments. But we believe that it’s part of a holistic approach — that includes many different tools in the classroom, is part of a play and inquiry-based environment and is a catalyst for life-long learning. I’m really curious to follow along on your exploration. Again, thanks so much for sharing! :)

    • Deborah says:

      I think those of us participating in this book study would agree with you Heather. Technolgy is best when considering the needs of the whole child in the process…

  7. Paige Wright says:

    I am so anxious to get my hands on this book. I’ve just spent a full day of staff development thinking about and planning lessons, etc. with and around technology (that are aligned with the Common Core Standards). I think this book is going to help me to expand my thinking and plan for a very exciting year!

    • Karen @ PreKinders says:

      So glad you are excited about the book study & what a great idea to start planning for technology now!

  8. My book arrived in the mail today. I spent the afternoon reading the Introduction and first chapter, using the QR codes to access video (love that feature!) and reflecting on how I already use technology in very simple ways in my pre-K classroom. I’m looking forward to gaining many more ideas through this book study. It’s important to help young children see that technology can be used in ways other than just for entertainment.

    • V. Levin says:

      Judy, aren’t those QR codes awesome?! I love that they included them in the book. And I agree, technology in the classroom should be educational not for entertainment.

  9. I am loving this book! I have just recently been able to apply for grants from our Education Foundation to incorporate more technology and this book is a wealth of knowledge. I can not put it down. I am so thrilled to read the book and see that it is so pre-k friendly!!

    • V. Levin says:

      That’s exactly why we chose this book Kandy, it’s difficult to find a book about technology that includes the youngest grades. Good luck with your educational foundation! I received a grant from my EF for $3,000 and my former colleagues from the same campus just received an iPad grant.

  10. I have read the first chapter and was very excited to read the rest. I started the 2nd chapter.
    I have some technology in my room, but not sure where and how to implement it. I can’t wait to get some ideas from everyone.

  11. Amy Smythe says:

    I love this book! The points that I liked most were:
    1. Setting goals that are manageable and measurable when implementing technology.
    2. Andy Russell from Launchpad Toys portraying his “storytelling” with Legos now being available to kids with the “telling” to others everywhere.
    3. NAEYC’s position on high quality early childhood education which includes technology.
    Can’t wait to keep reading and sharing with my colleagues at school!

  12. Lori Kirkpatrick says:

    I am very interested in reading the book ; will order it today!:)

  13. Amy Smythe says:

    Should we start a group on twitter to discuss the chapters? Possibly with a hashtag?

    • V. Levin says:

      Great idea Amy! We had one last year for Literacy Beginnings, I forgot about it this year! Look for #digitalage on twitter. The next post is scheduled for tomorrow so stay tuned :)

  14. Carolyn Young says:

    My book hasn’t arrived yet and the only technology we have so far is that which I take in myself (iPads, etc), so the book content will be helpful as I lobby for equipment along with guidelines on how I plan to use it to enhance instruction.

  15. Jamie Armbruster says:

    I was super excited to receive my book the other day. The intro and chapter 1 really got me to thinking about how I utilize the small amount of technology I have, and it confirmed to me the importance of pushing for the incorporation of tech in the pre-k classroom.

  16. Diane Bode says:

    I ordered the book from Amazon and it’s on back order!!

    • V. Levin says:

      Hi Diane, I’m so sorry the book is not available on Amazon yet. If you cancel your order and order it through Redleaf using the discount code STUDY you will get it right away and for the same price Amazon was offering. http://www.redleafpress.org

  17. I’m all new to this but I train/teach adult in the early childhood field and thought I’d better gain some knowledge in this subject matter. I love the scanning for the forms and presenters on the pages in the book!

  18. Carol Annette says:

    I enjoyed reading both the introduction and the first chapter. I was lucky to see Brian at the NAEYC PDI earlier this month. This is the kind of book we need to get people who say, “no technology in ECE classrooms” to spend some time reading and discussing. Anyone have any ideas on how to do that?

    • V. Levin says:

      Hi Carol, Thanks for joining our book study! I have some info on how to approach admin to add tech to ece classrooms here:

      Another idea is to hold a book study on your campus. Most schools I have worked at have book studies each year and those that participate in the PLC process usually have one per grade level. I would suggest this book to your admin as a title for a grade level or campus wide book study. Last year our on-line book study sparked many campus book studies across the US.

Printables for Pre-K and Kindergarten Teachers


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