Provider and Educator Use of TechnologyUpdated March 11, 2021, 9:10 AM
Many states have been using technology to support families, as well as providers and educators who work with the family. This methodology provides an alternative to meeting with families with young children in person and supports them in helping their children learn through embedded activities throughout the child's day.
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These resources illustrate how technology can be used in service provision and ways to address some of the challenges practitioners face when using this methodology. Also included are guidelines and tips for implementing effective remote service delivery practices and preparing families for using technology to help them help their children.
This handout from Larry Edelman of University of Colorado provides examples of how video conferencing might be used, general tips regarding technology, environment, and interactions with others, and a series of helpful links.
Evidence-Based and Promising Practices to Support Continuity of Learning for Students With Disabilities: Practices and Resources to Support Teachers
This topical brief from IDEAs that Work is intended for teachers (K-12) and early childhood practitioners (serving children ages 2-5). It provides an overview on accessibility and instruction modalities, evidence-based practices, examples and resources. The practice content is presented in two sections; the first for teachers of school-aged children, and the second for early childhood practitioners, which begins on page 12.
Webinars on Engaging Families
Use of Tele-Intervention in Early Intervention (IDEA Part C): Strategies for Providing Services Under the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency
This webinar explores Part C policy and infrastructure issues for states to consider addressing in order to establish and fund early intervention through video-based tele-intervention, including:
- Funding Opportunities: Medicaid and private insurance
- Privacy Issues: HIPAA and FERPA
- Consent from families (What is needed?)
- Video Conferencing: Technology and Considerations
The good news is that barriers and challenges are less than some may think and a number of states have experience in delivering effective services through tele-intervention that we can learn from.
- Planning for the Use of Video Conferencing for Early Intervention Home Visits during the COVID-19 Pandemic (prepared by Larry Edelman) suggests key topics to be addressed and provides information and resources to assist in planning how to use video conferencing for home visiting.
Family Resources: Overview of Product and Process from the Positive Early Learning Experiences Center (PELE)
This recorded webinar highlights the work of the PELE center around supporting families during the COVID-19 pandemic. Phil Strain and Johanna Berry Wasser share the videos, guidance documents, and process they are using to support engagement with families during this time when in-person engagement is not an option.
In this webinar, a conversation with NCPMI faculty addresses challenges associated with helping families while using distance technology. While addressing primary challenges that providers see in families such as coping with behavioral difficulties of their children and disruption in routines the webinar also answers questions from providers such as how can I help without adding stress and how can I guide families who don't have access to technology?
Videos on Engaging Famlies
This series shares the experiences of practitioners and families from across the country, illustrating how the fields of early education and early childhood special education are successfully supporting preschoolers and their families during the COVID-19 pandemic.Watch Now
As Bowen prepares to transition into preschool, Brandi, his mother, chooses to have his SLP, Jessie, and his early interventionist, Ann, visit jointly to address his social communication and language outcomes. The initial visits were in his home and then video conferencing was used to continue services until his birthday. Ann and Jessie discuss the importance of joint planning and teaming to ensure their coaching was coordinated and supportive for the family, and Brandi shares her experiences with coaching, including mobile coaching. (9 min.)
Produced by Larry Edelman, Juliann Woods, Ann Hagensick, Jessica Brown, and Katrina Cripe. For more information, visit the Family Guided Routines Based Intervention web site.
This video describes how Peggy Mattingley, General Education Teacher, Kirsten Bilderaya, Itinerant Early Childhood Specialist, and Molly McCarthy, Speech-Language Pathologist, at Tarver Elementary School in Thornton, Colorado delivered remote learning services in spring, 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. They discuss how they reached out to families, provided both asynchronous and synchronous activities, delivered individualized services, and supported children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). (17 min.)
A companion video guide outlines the contents of the video with handy time codes to find sections most useful to the viewer.
This video illustrates how Anna Cordas and Erin Erjavec, Preschool Education Interventionists at Big Walnut Elementary School in Delaware County, Ohio, delivered remote learning services for their inclusive classrooms during the COVID-19 pandemic in spring, 2020. They show how they used their typical classroom visual schedule, provided both asynchronous and synchronous activities, delivered individualized services, and supported children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs). Lindsay, a parent of one of their students, shares her and her son's experiences with the remote learning services. (35 min.)
A companion video guide outlines the contents of the video with handy time codes to find sections most useful to the viewer.
This entertaining video presents important tips for improving your video conferencing skills. The lighthearted narration and whimsical illustrations can help you identify key technical, environmental, and interactional aspects to keep in mind. Download the accompanying one-page checklist to assess your skills while watching the video. (9 min.)
This Early Intervention Video Reflection Activity includes sample reflection questions for supervisors/trainers to use with individuals or groups.
In this video, Ohio occupational therapist Marta Gonzalez delivers an early intervention home visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video illustrates how home visits delivered through video conferencing can continue to support children and their families when in-person visits are not possible. The story is shared through insightful observations offered by Marta and Liam's mother, Yinna. En Español (11 min., with English subtitles.)
In this video, Grayson's parents Niki and Matt describe how home visits they receive via video conferencing engage and support the entire family during stresses associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Early interventionist Jenny Seuntjens highlights key strategies including focusing on all family members, embedding intervention in typical everyday routines, and following the family's lead. (11 min.)
In this video, Ohio speech-language pathologist Lindsay Miketa delivers an early intervention home visit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video illustrates the experience of a family new to early intervention that has only received home visits via video conferencing. The story is accompanied by insightful observations offered by Lindsay and Ares' parents, Jacqueline and Daniel. (9 min.)
This video illustrates an early intervention home visit delivered by Ohio occupational therapist Angela Spano via video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video shows how home visits support the entire family and features insightful observations offered by Sam's mother Kayla and Angela. (8 min.)
This video illustrates an early intervention home visit delivered by Ohio physical therapist Paula Clark via video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The video features insightful observations offered by Zander's mother Margaret and Paula. (14 min.)
This video illustrates an entire home visit delivered by early interventionist Jenny Seuntjens via video conferencing during the COVID-19 pandemic, with very little taken out. Running at around forty minutes, the video includes an introduction by Juliann Woods and annotations throughout that point out key strategies used by both the provider and the family. (43 min.)
In this video, Juliann Woods, Jenny Seuntjens, and Larry Edelman discuss the use of the SS-OO-PP-RR framework for guiding home visits, whether in-person or delivered through video conferencing. They also discuss general considerations when delivering home visits during the COVID-19 pandemic. (14 min.)
In this video, four early intervention practitioners from the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities (Ohio) share their experiences and advice about using video conferencing to deliver home visits. (13 min.)
A companion viewer's guide provides space for a provider to take notes on the discussion and reflect on the content's application to their own work.
The Ohio Association of County Boards of DD, a grantee of the Ohio DD Council, has produced in partnership with families and practitioners in Ohio, a video series about the Use of Technology with Evidence Based Early Intervention. This eight-video series illustrates how video, video conferencing, and related technologies can improve access to, and the quality of, supports for families as well as better enable teams to practice evidence-based early intervention services.
This video from the series illustrates how a speech-language pathologist makes a virtual home visit from her office to join a mother, her son, and a developmental specialist. Other videos on this site are related to using video technology in early intervention. (6 min.)
This Family, Infant and Preschool Program video shows how you can use tele-intervention during this time of social distancing and includes an overview of system requirements, how to plan a visit, the three parts of a virtual visit, and what conducting an tele-intervention visit looks like in action. (20 min.)
A companion handout on Promoting Interest-Based Child Learning in Natural Settings using a Coaching Interaction Style helps early childhood practitioners build the capacity of a caregiver to promote child learning and development as part of everyday activities, and can be used to facilitate a tele-intervention visit.
FIPP has also produced the following infographics:
This early intervention guide provides steps to joint planning, observation, action and practice, reflection and feedback.
Focusing on natural learning environment practices, this early intervention guide looks at child interests, activity settings and caregiver responsiveness.
This early intervention guide provides five basic steps to getting started in tele-intervention. It also offers solutions to confidentiality issues bwhen using tele-intervention.
Ten useful tips are offered to help early interventionists continue to be effective during tele-intervention visits.
In this infographic, FIPP defines four alternatives to modeling as early interventionists work with caregivers. They are prompting, role-playing, demonstrating and reflecting.
Online Modules on Engaging Families
A Practical Guide to the Use of Tele-Intervention in Providing Early Intervention Services to Infants and Toddlers Who Are Deaf or Hard of Hearing (NCHAM)
Over the past 8-9 years, NCHAM has been supporting the knowledge base and research to determine the effectiveness of tele-intervention (TI). They believe TI is a useful tool in serving families of children who are Deaf and Hard-of-hearing and applies to the use in promoting communication development. This guide has applicability across early intervention and has great resources on technology, sample consent form etc.
Three Tele-Intervention 101 Learning Courses for different audiences are included:
Other Resources on Engaging Families
In this module, Pam Dawson talks about Tele-Intervention (TI), which is virtual service delivery model. Pam Dawson, M.Ed is the Executive Director of hear ME now. Pam discusses the benefits and challenges of TI and provides strategies for successful implementation.
Early Childhood Recommended Practice Modules (RPMs) are free modules developed for early care and education, early intervention, and early childhood special education faculty and professional development providers. The modules support the implementation of the Division for Early Childhood (DEC) Recommended Practices.
These tip sheets from the Center for Parent Information and Resources (CPIR) web page offer advice on the use of technology, hosting and participating in meetings, and also provide infographics on the content. Many of the resources, for example, this Sample Virtual IEP Meeting Agenda, are available in both English and Spanish.
A preschool education director shares what her school is doing to keep kids' screen time to a minimum (30 minutes maximun) while fostering play-based learning at home. Tips include to: remember that families are partners, provide meaningful screen time alternatives and be kind to yourself.
This blog post offers practical strategies for early interventionists to use when coaching parents using tele-intervention. "You are not trying to engage an infant or toddler on video for 45-60 minutes during your virtual visit. Re-read that last sentence and let it sink in." Although the world has shifted because of the COVID-19 crisis, the practitioner's primary mission remains the same: support caregivers so they learn ways to interact with their children during everyday routines and activities that encourage development. In comment section, an early interventionist shares how following strategies helped her perform successful assessments.
These resources compiled by the Council for Exceptional Children can help support special education professionals and your ongoing efforts to apply good teaching practices remotely due to precautions surrounding COVID-19.
How Phones Can Facilitate Distance Learning (Edutopia)
This article outlines that although phones have constraints to creating equitable learning environments they can be used maintain lines of communication, share learning and build community. Research shows that approximately 96 percent of households have access to a mobile phone and 81 percent have access to a smartphone. In situations where students lack high-speed internet access or a laptop or tablet, phones can play a key role in bridging the gap between school and home.
Home visits have been suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, but early interventionists can still provide supports to families. In this short article, Robin McWilliam discusses how the principles of the Routines-Based Model match the demands of distance service delivery, the definition of tele-intervention, the research behind telepractice, how to use telepractice for the Routines-Based Interview, and how to use tele-intervention for home visits.
Distance Mentorship Facilitator's Guide: Using Technology to Provide Consultation for Teams Supporting Learners with Deaf-Blindness (NCDB)
Providing step-by-step support and recommended guidelines for TA providers and other consultants, this resource supports school-based teams serving learners with deaf-blindness. It includes methods of providing distance consultation. Although developed for school-based teams, many of the strategies are relevant for teams working with children of any age.
How to Support Children and Families when Pre-K programs are Closed for an Extended Time (Pre-K Teach and Play Podcast)
This podcast from Pre-K, Teach and Play features Dr. Kristie Pretti-Frontczak and Beth Diedrick. They explore practices that support a strong home-school connection and partnership, considerations for children who have diverse abilities and an IEP in place– not from a legal perspective, but in terms of supporting their growth and development, and possibilities that are emerging in this time of uncertainty.
Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic (NAFSCE)
NAFSCE has assembled a collection of learning resources, free or reduced cost services, and information sources related to engaging families.
Materials to Support Teachers Managing Virtual Classrooms (Child Mind Institute)
Thees specialized guidelines for teachers can help you build connection with and support students in a virtual classroom environment. Many of the materials are useful to both parents and teachers.
Resources from the Described and Captioned Media Program (DCMP) help support early intervention and early childhood special education for educators, families, and support personnel with children who are deaf, hard of hearing, blind, visually impaired, and deaf-blind. These resources can be used as remote learning tools, family resources, and professional development opportunities. Users have to apply for free membership in order to access the site.
Videos on Preparing Families
If you're new to EI/ECSE and want to understand how virtual visits work, listen to nine-month-old Ares' family story. (2 min.)
If you're familiar with in-person home visits, but unsure of the benefits of virtual visits listen to young Liam's family story. (3 min.)
If you're anxious about how virtual visits will work for your family, listen to 18-month-old Grayson's family story. (3 min.)
This video also includes subtitles in Vietnamese: Để xem phụ đề tiếng Việt, bấm nút "Settings"; trong phần "Subtitles/CC", chọn Vietnamese.
If you're wondering what benefits a provider can bring to your child and family through virtual visits, listen to two-year-old Sam's family story. (2 min.)
If you're interested in learning how to make the most of your provider's expertise during and in between virtual visits, listen to five-month-old Zander's family story. (3 min.)
Other Resources on Preparing Families
Family Guided Routines Based Intervention
Family Guided Routines Based Intervention (FGRBI) and Caregiver Coaching promotes the ability of early intervention providers to coach caregivers to engage their young children in learning as they participate in everyday routines and activities that are meaningful to them.
This tipsheet offers steps providers should take while using tele-intervention to connect with families and continue to build the caregiver's ability to embed intervention throughout families' everyday activities.
This one-pager offers tips to families who are preparing for their first tele-intervention session. It helps families know what to expect and how to prepare for the session.
Tips for Families
These one-page tip sheets can help families better understand how tele-intervention will work in helping to achieve their children's outcomes, and a checklist to help them prepare for a tele-intervention visit by considering appropriate timing, suitable environment and connection requirements. Each is also available in Spanish.
- What is Remote Early Intervention?
- Preparing for the Visit Checklist
Providing and Coordinating Early Intervention Services Through the Phone, Tablet, or Computer
Tips for Providers
These one-page tip sheets includes the components that should be included in a tele-intervention and the similarities between a tele-intervention visit and a home visit, and what to say to families during the COVID-19 pandemic about continuing services using technology.
Over the past 8-9 years, NCHAM has been supporting the knowledge base and research to determine the effectiveness of tele-intervention (TI). They believe TI is a useful tool in serving families of children who are Deaf and Hard-of-hearing and applies to the use in promoting communication development. This guide has applicability across early intervention and has great resources on technology, sample consent form, etc.