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Technology in Early Childhood Center

Experts in child development and children’s digital media and technology use.

Contact the TEC Center

What is TEC Center?

Erikson Institute’s Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center is a research center and professional development provider with expertise in child development and children’s digital media and technology use. Housed within Erikson Institute, the TEC Center is dedicated to connecting research and practice in this field. The TEC Center conducts research investigating the role of technology in children’s development and education. Using evidence-based research and real-world examples, the TEC Center’s professional development services strengthen educators’ practice.

Our Mission Statement

TEC Center prioritizes child development above all else — that is what drives TEC Center’s research and professional development services. TEC Center recognizes that children are surrounded by digital media and technology; therefore, TEC Center focuses on: 1) Understanding how digital media and technology play a role in early childhood, and; 2) Informing and supporting the adults who influence children’s development and education. TEC Center believes that digital media and technology is one tool of many that can and should be used to positively support development and education.

TEC Center Impact

TEC Center has developed an evidence-based PD model through years of experience and research. We’re laying the foundation for published Media Literacy in Early Childhood Report.

60 +
Live webinars
2000 +
Hours of content watched
8000 +
Workshop attendance
Presented live to nearly early childhood professionals

Current Projects

Tech Camp: Teachers Only
Register for our upcoming summer sessions that explore young children and their use of technology and digital media. Learn how to become a media mentor for media literacy and the best ways to integrate technology into the classroom.

Stock photo of a group of people using technology in a library.

Professional Development for Youth Library Staff

We are offering a new IMLS-funded professional development program, Media Literacy in Early Childhood for Youth Library Staff. Recruitment is open for this four-month professional development series, approximately 10-12 hours, for youth library staff nation-wide.

child on zoom

Zoom Learning Study

We are conducting a Zoom learning study to understand how children’s visual attention during a Zoom lesson impacts student comprehension. Please contact us if you are interested in joining our research participant database.

Father and son listening to music

ConTEXT Research Study

Supported by a Susan Crown Exchange grant, the TEC Center is studying how best to support parent and child conversation about technology use. We have developed 100s of text message challenges to encourage parents and tweens to reflect and talk about technology use and its effects. We are looking for parents to participate in our research study on this project.

Media Literacy in Early Childhood Report

Media Literacy in Early Childhood Report

Young children are regularly engaging with media in their homes, schools, and outside of school experiences including museums and libraries. All of these environments offer an opportunity to support and develop young children’s media literacy skills. However, there is a lack of consensus about what media literacy education for young children means and includes, what media literacy experiences in both informal and formal early childhood settings should look like, and how to empower parents and other adults as media literacy role models and mentors.

Teacher with Tech

Professional Development Services

Erikson Institute’s Technology in Early Childhood (TEC) Center offers innovative professional development workshops, webinars, and programs designed to develop early childhood educators as leaders in technology integration in early childhood classrooms.

Learn More about our Services

two boys on tablet

TEC Center Research

The TEC Center conducts research to scientifically answer critical questions regarding the role of technology on young children’s learning and development.

Learn More about our Research

Children in classroom with tablet


Erikson Institute’s Technology in Early Childhood Center was started in 2012 by Founding Director, Chip Donohue, PhD. After the publishing of the 2012 NAEYC and Fred Rogers Center joint position statement on technology in early childhood, Dr. Donohue launched the TEC Center, with the support of the Boeing Company and Erikson Institute. TEC Center’s mission has always been to influence early educator’s practice by providing evidence-based information and resources.

In 2016, TEC Center’s professional development services was established with a year-long TEC Mentors program for early childhood educators. Since 2016, TEC Center has provided professional development services to thousands of educators from across the world. In 2018, TEC Center’s Director, Alexis Lauricella, PhD, joined the TEC Center. Dr. Lauricella initiated TEC Center’s involvement in conducting research. Today, TEC Center is both a research center and professional development provider.

Alexis Lauricella testimonail
Alexis Lauricella
PhD, Associate Professor, Director, TEC Center
“ When is technology the best tool to support children’s development and academics and when is it not the best tool? We are here to help answer that question! ”

We Are an IL-EMPOWER Approved Learning Partner


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