Plugged and Unplugged Experiences in Early Childhood Education

MQF Level 6


Plugged and Unplugged Experiences in Early Childhood Education

October 2024
Module Type
ECTS Credits

Module Description

This module addresses the significant role of technology in Early Childhood Education (ECE) settings and its impact on young learners, educators, and the learning process itself. It explores both the benefits and challenges of integrating technology in educational environments.

Key Learning Outcomes:

  • Technology as a Learning Tool: Participants will learn how properly implemented technology enhances cognitive and social development in young children by offering multimodal learning environments that cater to diverse learning styles.
  • Digital Natives: The course will discuss the concept of ‘digital natives’, highlighting the natural affinity young children have with digital technology due to early exposure.
  • Practical Application: ECE practitioners will gain confidence in using a variety of digital tools and applications, including Web 2.0 technologies, virtual and augmented reality, and wearable tech. The focus will be on creating conducive digital learning environments and using technology for pedagogy, assessment, and enhancing creativity and collaboration among young learners.
  • Community Engagement: Technology’s role in facilitating observation and documentation of learning, promoting family involvement, and extending learning beyond the classroom will also be covered.

By the end of this module, participants will be equipped to effectively integrate technology into ECE settings, leveraging its potential to enhance learning while also addressing the challenges it presents.

Entry Requirements

Candidates who apply for this course will possess:

  • A full qualification at MQF level 4 in Early Childhood Education and SEC/Ordinary Level passes in Mathematics, English and Maltese.


  • 2 Advanced Level passes and 2 Intermediate Level passes including 2 subjects from Mathematics, English, Maltese.
    A pass at SEC/Ordinary Level in the subject that is not presented at advanced/intermediate level from the 3 specified above.
  • In the case of students who do not possess all the formal required academic qualifications, then the RPL process could be applied such that if evidence of equivalent learning, related to the area of study of this programme, is found then the applicant could still be accepted in the course. Such RPL process will subject applicants to an interview held with a board of experts within the field, chosen specifically by IDEA Academy, so as to verify their experiences and prior learning.

IDEA Academy’s RPL policy can be accessed through this link

Furthermore, it will be advised to students at entry point that before going on placements, they will need to be in possession of:

  • The POMA (Protection of Minors Application) certificate.
  • A first-aid certificate prior to commening placement practice.
  • A valid police conduct certificate.



Target Audience

This programme has the following target groups:

  • Individuals who are approaching the field of Early Childhood Education.
  • Individuals who have been working in the field as a means of capacity building.
  • Individuals looking to advance to Kindergarten Educator III role.

Module / Unit Instruction

The proposed structure comprises a blended approach promoting the building of a community of practice via peer-to-peer learning.

The structure uses primarily two dimensions of teaching-learning modes: · Face-to-face sessions: 18h · Online Learning Activities: 12h.

Face-to-face sessions include lectures, tutorials, discussions, presentations, and workshop activities promoting peer-to-peer learning.

Online Learning Activities incorporate tutorials and asynchronous discussions. These may consist of active interaction, participation, and contributions in fora discussions, sharing resources and self-reflection exercises.

Learners also contribute to the building of the community of practice by providing feedback to their peers as critical friends, enhancing the learner’s critical engagement throughout the study period.

The tutor provides continual support during both teaching-learning modes by providing information, readings, and tasks relevant to the module in question.

The tutor provides continuous formative feedback as an on-going guidance during the student’s learning experience in preparation for their summative assessment.

How you’ll be assessed

For this module, the assigned lecturer is guided to develop and assign a minimum of two assessment tasks, one of which should happen during the module to allow for formative feedback. Once the assessment tasks are developed by the lecturer, these go through a rigourous internal verification process to make sure that they are subject, level, and load appropriate.

All formative and summative tasks aim to provide the learner with an opportunity to produce evidence of his/her competences aligned to the learning outcomes of the modules and enhance his/her learning in the process.

Furthermore, the tasks may include different forms of assessment which allow and promote students’ knowledge in the area, critical engagement and other transversal skills that are required in the field (e.g., online discussions, in-class discussions, case studies, etc.).

The module consist of two assessments, each carrying a weighting as is below recommended:

a. Assessment 1 carries 40% of total module mark achieved. b. Assessment 2 carries 60% of total module mark achieved.

The overall grade achieved for this module is calculated as the sum of: · 40% of the mark achieved for Assessment 1; and · 60% of the mark achieved for Assessment 2.

a) Assessment 1 will be conducted in the form of a review of a number of digital tools used in ECE.

b) Assessment 2  will be conducted in the form of a 1,500-word assignment whereby the course participants need to show a thorough understanding of digital literacy.

For successful completion of this study module the student is required to achieve an overall pass mark of 50%.


Module Intake Dates

October 2024

Learning Outcomes


At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the responsibility and autonomy to:

  • Analyse their perceptions about the use of digital technology in ECE settings.
  • Demonstrate an ability to reflect on the use of digital technology in ECE.
  • Evaluate ECE practitioner’s role in employing digital technology.
  • Analyse what constitutes digital literacy for young children.
  • Be able to reflect on their own past experiences when they engaged with digital technology.
  • Analyse the importance of using various digital tools (e.g. Web 2.0 tools) to produce digital tools which help in creating meaningful learning moments.
  • Investigate ways how to use various applications to promote cross-curricular and/or thematic approaches in ECE.
  • Identity how societal and cultural aspects affect the use of digital technology both within and also outside the ECE setting.
  • Design a learning environment which promotes a balanced use of digital technology.


At the end of the module/unit, the learner be able to:

  • Be familiar with the various ways how technology can support learning in ECE settings.
  • Learn about the different theories related to digital education and digital literacy.
  • Learn about how technology has helped ECE during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Understanding the links between the use of digital technology and child development.
  • Know the benefits and challenges when introducing and using digital technology within ECE settings.
  • Understand the different ways in how digital technology and applications can be used within ECE settings.
  • Understand varied ways how to tackle challenges related to excessive screen time or young children who become dependent on digital technology.
  • Know the key concepts of collaborating with stakeholders to promote the healthy use of digital technology, · Be familiar with several Web 2.0 tools and applications available.
  • Understand how such tools and applications can be used to promote young children’s learning.
  • Be familiar with how digital technology provides access to all learners.


At the end of the module/unit the learner will have acquired the following skills:

  • Collaborate in designing learning environments which promote a balanced and sustainable use of digital technology.
  • Be able to offer plugged and unplugged experiences for young children.
  • Appraise further knowledge about young children as digital natives.
  • Critically apply knowledge and skills to strengthen a practice of documenting children’s learning by using digital tools.
  • Evaluate and critically provide suggestions of how ECE practitioners can further use virtual learning spaces.
  • Choose several myths about digital technology in ECE and debunk them.
  • Show how different stakeholders can be engaged in the discussion about the use of digital technology in ECE.
  • Help young children have a voice when choosing how and when is digital technology used in the ECE setting.
  • Argue about the crucial importance of digital technology in challenging situations (e.g. COVID-19 pandemic).

Module-Specific Learner Skills:

At the end of the module/unit the learner will be able to: ·

  • Make use of specific digital tools in ECE,
  • Have a strong command of different applications which promote children’s learning.
  • Justify the choice of specific digital tools in ECE.
  • Gain confidence in using specific digital tools.
  • Apply a thorough understanding of a balanced use of technology.
  • Propose ways how to empower other stakeholders within the ECE setting to also use digital technology in their setting.
  • Reflect on how leadership in ECE settings affects the use of digital technology or otherwise.

Module-Specific Digital Skills and Competences:

At the end of the module/unit, the learner will be able to:

  • Carry out academic research on websites (e.g. Google Scholar) or journals (e.g. EBSCO, Taylor & Francis, SAGE, etc)
  • Navigate the internet for documents and or guidebooks related to the use of digital technology in ECE.
  • Navigate through the online learning platform to download and upload the research proposal, discussion boards, literature, tutorials etc.
  • Use basic Microsoft office (or equivalent) applications to write and submit assignments.
  • Use different digital tools.
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