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Engaging Early Learners with Technology: Sharing Research and Best Practices

Thursday, April 25, 2019 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT

Presented by Scott Miller, Ph.D., Principal, Avonworth Primary Center, PA; and Emily Neff, Public Policy Associate, Trying Together
Hosted by Sierra Noakes, Research Project Manager, Digital Promise

Sponsored by Digital Promise



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In this edWebinar, the presenters will discuss the best practices for technology use with young children (birth through age five) and their families, as well as how to support early childhood educators in grades K-3 with effective technology strategies. Research on technology use in early childhood education from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and Common Sense Media will provide the framework. With digital devices becoming more readily available in school settings, the logistics of implementing technology in the classroom as a tool for learning must be examined in order to utilize emerging technology most effectively.

The edWebinar will also share insights from a roundtable facilitated by Hi5!, a kindergarten readiness and registration campaign in the Greater Pittsburgh Region. The roundtable served as a professional development and networking event for over 20 school districts to share best practices for how they are using technology to support the transition to kindergarten for students and families. The discussion included developmentally appropriate technology use across the early childhood continuum.

This presentation will be of interest to preK-3 teachers and school leaders. There will be time to get your questions answered at the end of the presentation.

About the Presenters

Dr. Scott Miller is Principal at Avonworth Primary Center (K-2), part of the Avonworth School District located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His expertise and interests include early childhood education pedagogy, creativity in the elementary school setting as part of effective lesson design, implementation of Common Core State Standards, and the development of makerspaces. Dr. Miller holds leadership positions on his district’s technology committee and on Allegheny County’s Hi5! Kindergarten Transition Committee and is an active member of Trying Together.


Emily Neff serves as a public policy associate for Trying Together, engaging in statewide and local advocacy and policy activities with the goal of expanding access to high-quality early care and education. She supports the public policy agenda through research and the creation of issue briefs, white papers, and a variety of professional development resources, including webinars and workshops focused on developmentally appropriate practice and the early learning continuum. Additionally, Emily serves as the coordinator for Hi5!, a kindergarten registration and readiness project for over 40 school districts in Allegheny County. Previously, Emily worked as a family support coordinator for a superintendent in New York City and as first grade teacher.


About the Host

At Digital Promise, Sierra Noakes focuses on building districts’ and educators’ capacity to make evidence-based decisions around innovative programs and practices. In addition to conducting and supporting edtech pilot studies in collaboration with districts across the country, Sierra is also working on research projects studying technology integration to support low-resourced K12 students and adult learners. Prior to joining Digital Promise, Sierra was an applied behavior analysis instructor and curriculum coordinator at an autism center in New York. While working on her Master’s in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education, she also served as project manager and policy analyst for a nonprofit creating hybrid academic and SEL courses for students with Dyslexia and ADHD. Sierra received her B.A. in Government from Claremont McKenna College.


To participate in the live edWebinar, log in with current version of Google Chrome or install the meeting app prior to the edWebinar on your computer, your Apple device, or Android device.  If you have a firewall in your location, you can participate on your mobile device using your cellular data (not your local network).

The edWebinar recording will be posted to this page the day after the presentation.

Join the Research and Evidence in Edtech community to network with educators, participate in online discussions, receive invitations to upcoming edWebinars, and view recordings of previous programs to earn CE certificates.

Digital Promise was created with the mission to accelerate innovation in education to improve opportunities to learn.

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