Simply put, the role of technology in early childhood education and care (ECEC) is to allow educators to be more efficient. More efficient in communication, management and compliance.
Often, we confuse the two definitions of efficient. One is used to describe people:
“working in a well-organized and competent way.”
The other is used to describe systems or machines:
“achieving maximum productivity with minimum wasted effort or expense.”
Do More, or Do it in Less Time?
When early ed-tech solutions were first introduced to the ECEC sector, the goal was to reduce the workload for educators, allowing them to be more competent by having less on their plate. On top of this, relationships would be built with families through increased communication.
Since then, we’ve seen the role of the everyday educator increase rapidly — so much so that it was recognised by the NSW government in an action that battled for 8 years to get a pay rise for the increased demands of educators.
By introducing technology, we’ve increased the productivity of educators, but the purpose of this isn’t just to push the same educators to their limits again in an attempt to get the most output.
In a profession where employees are already at risk of burnout, the emphasis needs to be put back on educator wellbeing, and we’re highlighting this issue during ‘World Wellbeing Week.’
“As educators we’re always outputting.” said Cassandra Button, in a recent interview with OWNA. “If you’re coming into work half-full, then you’re in negatives by the end of the day.”
When your job requires you to interact all day, more output doesn’t equal more results. In fact, it could negatively affect other educators and children seeing someone that they spend almost every day with showing signs of burnout.
As a provider to the early childhood sector, educator wellbeing is something we think is vital to the sector, especially as it struggles to get enough of them in the first place.
How Technology Plays a Role in Preventing Burnout
Truthfully, technology doesn’t have all of the answers. All we can do is carry on trying to make the job as easy as we can, whilst hoping that the powers that be recognise that a healthy workload for an educator is currently not meeting the demands of the sector.
On top of that, we’ve also got the demands of directors and owners, who not only have to meet the needs of the children, but also the educators.
By increasing the amount of communication between educators, management and families, we allow more opportunities for peers to recognise signs of burnout. What you do with that is completely up to you, but here are some resources on supporting educator wellbeing:
- Beyond Blue’s Wellbeing Tool for Educators
- Early Childhood Educator Wellbeing Project
- Understanding and Supporting Educator Wellbeing
With all the features needed for educators, directors and families, OWNA is creating more efficiency and communication in your service, in order to help you get the most for your staff — not output, but outcomes!
To see how OWNA could play it’s small part in decreasing the workload of educators, contact us to book a demo today.