Erikson Institute

“Back to School”: Remote PD Workshop Series with TEC Center

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The Technology in Early Childhood Center at Erikson Institute is excited to provide a two-part technology-focused professional development workshop series for early childhood educators. The goal of these workshops is to introduce educators to the most up-to-date research and practices regarding developmentally appropriate use of technology with young children in the context of remote learning. These workshops will explore important ways in which technology can be used during early childhood to support learning and positive development, as well as highlight key concerns regarding early childhood technology use. The series is developed specifically for educators working with children between the ages of 2-8.

Part 1: Rethinking Technology Use in Early Childhood Education

Tuesday, September 1st, 9:30 am - 11:30am CST

Participants will explore how young children learn from screen-based devices and barriers that make learning from screens difficult. In this session, we’ll examine what early childhood educators should consider when evaluating and selecting technology tools for young children to use remotely. Participants will walk away with tips and resources for selecting appropriate technology tools for young children to use remotely.


Part 2: Prioritizing SEL Remotely in the New School Year

Wednesday, September 2nd, 9:30 am - 11:30am CST

Participants will explore ways to use technology as a tool for teachers to develop and support new relationships with students and their families. In this session, participants will discuss creative ways to use technology to support aspects of social emotional learning for students. Participants will walk away with tips and activity ideas for young children as well as tips for connecting with families.


Participants are highly encouraged to register and attend one Part 1 session and one Part 2 session. Registration is required for each workshop. 

  • Price: $75 per session
  • Size: Session will be capped at 30 participants to ensure opportunity for interaction and conversation.
  • Credit: Each attendee will receive a Completion Certificate awarding 2 PD Credits per session.

About TEC Center at Erikson Institute

The Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center at Erikson Institute empowers early childhood educators, caregivers and parents to use technology appropriately and meaningfully with young children. We conduct research to better understand how children and their families use technology at home, school and in out of school time settings to learn and this along with the work of other experts in the field informs our professional development programs. Our work in professional development was recognized by The White House in 2016 through the Computer Science for All and Advancing Early Learning STEM initiative. In 2018, New America in Washington, DC, featured us as one of five outstanding professional development programs in their Extracting Success in Pre-K Teaching: Approaches to Effective Professional Learning Across Five States. A video with educator testimonials from our professional development programs may be viewed at:


Alexis Lauricella, PhD, is an Assistant Professor at Erikson Institute and Director of Erikson’s Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center. Her research focuses on children’s learning from media technology and parents’ and teachers’ attitudes toward and use of media technology with young children. At the TEC Center, Dr. Lauricella’s research studies young children’s learning from technology by examining the impact of STEM media content on children’s direct learning from technology. She is interested in examining the use of technology tools to support parents’ STEM engagement with their children and evaluate technology-based curriculum tools to support preschool teachers’ use of STEM in the classroom. Dr. Lauricella is the former Associate Director of Northwestern University’s Center on Media and Human Development. She has an impressive list of publications including empirical research articles in Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology, Journal of Children and Media, Media Psychology, Journal of Early Adolescence, Journal of Infant Behavior and Development, New Media and Society, Computers and Education, and Public Health. Dr. Lauricella is also the founder of

Jenna Herdzina, MS, is the Program Manager of the TEC Center at Erikson Institute. Jenna’s work focuses on empowering early childhood educators to make informed decisions about the appropriate use of technology with young children. As Program Manager, Jenna designs, develops, and delivers inclusive and innovative professional development workshop for early childhood educators. She also assists in research processes and report development. Through a focus on the impact media has on the development in early childhood, Jenna has informed the design of Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) grant-funded media literacy national forums, served as a primary writer of our IMLS grant-funded media literacy in early childhood report and framework, as well as designed, developed, and delivered TEC Center’s first Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy workshops. Previously, Jenna was the Early Childhood Education Policy Intern at Latino Policy Forum. She has worked with children and families for over a decade in a variety of settings including early childhood education centers, a crisis nursery, and a hospital. Jenna earned her Master’s in Child Development from Erikson Institute.

Morgan Russo is a research assistant of the TEC Center while getting her Masters in Child Development. Previously she taught in CPS for five years and worked as an instructional coach and Director of Curriculum for Teachers Supporting Teachers, a non-profit focusing on urban teacher retention. She then transitioned to writing content for children’s edtech/media companies like Peekapak, Edit Change Management, and 321 Learning. She is passionate about understanding how children best learn from digital media and technology. The past year she was living in Amsterdam writing a children’s chapter book, The Mediators, about three devices who are on a mission to mediate their families’ media use. Morgan has been working with Dr. Amanda Gummer’s Good Play Guide to help toy companies create developmentally appropriate toys and apps. She is excited to work with the TEC Center team to understand children’s technology use.


Can I join the webinars via phone?
You may. However, please notify Jenna Herdzina at that you joined via phone, along with the phone number you used.

Will you be sharing a recording of the webinars?
We will be sending a recording of the webinars to those who attend.

Will I receive credit for watching a recording of the webinar?
No. People will not receive credit for watching a recording of the session.

Will you be sharing powerpoint slides and handouts?
We will be sharing powerpoint slides and handouts to those who attend.

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