Excerpt from abstract
Online learning is an educational process which takes place over the Internet as a form of distance education. Distance education became ubiquitous as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020. Because of these circumstances, online teaching and learning had an indispensable role in early childhood education programs, even though debates continue on whether or not it is beneficial for young children to be exposed extensively to Information and Communication Technology (ICT). This descriptive study demonstrates how a preservice teacher education course in early childhood education was redesigned to provide student teachers with opportunities to learn and teach online. It reports experiences and reflections from a practicum course offered in the Spring Semester of 2020, in the USA. It describes three phases of the online student teachers’ experiences–Preparation, Implementation, and Reflection. Tasks accomplished in each phase are reported. Online teaching experiences provided these preservice teachers with opportunities to interact with children, as well as to encourage reflection on how best to promote young children’s development and learning with online communication tools.