Kia ora koutou
The use of Ipads, tablets and technology in general with young children is a relatively new advancement in the world of early childhood education. This can bring about a variety of views and is a topic fuelling some debate. CORE Education is playing a significant role in the development of insight into appropriate use and application of technology with young children and we are particularly interested in supporting teachers to use advancing technology in innovative and meaningful ways to support learning. It is very clear that education across all sectors is changing to embrace technology and therefore early childhood has a part to play in foregrounding children's experiences with this. I'm interested to hear the thoughts of teachers regarding technology.
How are you engaging with ICT in your centre? What approaches are you using to support learning and what are the challenges you face?
I look forward to hearing back and sharing a discussion on this topic. Nga mihi, Viv
Thanks for adding this post Viv - a topic that I am passionate about, particularly when we think how technology can help support and enhance teaching and learning with our young tamariki.
Digital technologies, when used well, can provide children with new avenues for creatvity, collaboration and communication. An example of this is children being able to create and share their own books - digital books that they author and record themselves. Another example from a centre is that of when a child had open heart surgery, digital technologies were one of many tools that the teachers used around project learning. Prior to the child going to Starship for the surgery, there was interest from the children in the centre about what would be happening to their friend which lead onto a project on the body and the functions of the heart. Children explored this in many ways with teacher support; one way of learning more about the functions of the heart included using the Human Body app which lead on to children's art, stories and dramatic play. Once the child was in Starship, digital devices enabled the child and her family to maintain contact with the centre and the child's friends thereby supporting the relationships from a distance. In these examples, digital technologies provide options to support learning, relationships and belonging.
Let's carry on the discussions, we would love to hear your examples.
In the meantime if you are looking for more information on digital technologies we have an ECEONLINE group on Digital Technologies in Education. Some useful links are:
EdTalk: Why ICT in ECE: http://edtalks.org/video/tara-fagan-why-ict-early-childhood-education
EdTalk: Authentic apps in ECE: http://www.edtalks.org/video/authentic-apps-early-years
EdTalk: Using ICT to document learning: http://www.edtalks.org/video/using-ict-document-our-learning
Closeup - iPads in EarlyChildhood: http://tvnz.co.nz/close-up/techno-toddlers-video-4972341
Preschools and iPads blog post: http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2013/06/preschoolers-addicted-to-smartphones-and-tablets-is-it-a-bad-thing.html
First word Tablet: http://blog.core-ed.org/blog/2014/09/first-word-tablet.html
Learning, teaching and ICT an early childhood perspective: http://www.academia.edu/1213278/Learning_Teaching_and_ICTs_an_Early_Childhood_perspective
Fostering motivation for literacy in early childhood using iPads: http://www.otago.ac.nz/cdelt/otago065362.pdf
ECEONLINE iPads in Education group: http://eceonline.core-ed.org/groups/profile/27285/ipads-in-education
Unesco - recognising the potential of ICT in ECE report: http://iite.unesco.org/pics/publications/en/files/3214673.pdf
Visioning for the Future: Integrating iPads using the e-Learning Planning Framework:
ECE ICT PL research: http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/ECE/79138/introduction
Wow what a lot of resources here!
We believe that technology has a huge part to play in growing the learning of tamariki. We use digital cameras, a tablet, and Storypark (e portfolio platform), we also have a blog site. Each of these things has a different function or purpose.
One of the challenges we have is the ever changing turn over of tamariki, which can prove challenging as we have to go back to base level learning (eg how to use a camera), in the same turn it gives the opportunities for teina/tuakana learning and our older learners are great at mentoring their younger peers. Any equipment in ECE gets a 'hard time' and cameras are no different so we do have a 'turnover' of cameras.... which if you are on a tight budget this can be problematic. For us tamariki being able to document their own learning is huge and we value this type of learning and make it work.
Currently we are investigating the concept of using ipod touch which can wirelessly send photos straight to printer as the process of downloading photos, editing etc takes a lot of additional time and adult input. Others may have ideas around this.... I have tried using my phone and bluetoothing video to laptop to upload into Storypark which worked well, but that creates issues in terms of security, cybersafety etc,
Robust cyber safety policies....... Think about do staff use only centre tools, if using own then responsibility for images, what about images on facebook?, what about whanau posting other childrnes images on facebook? A bit of thought into this before racing in can save a whole lot of angst later.
Our tablet has a 'child lock' screen which means we can control the apps that are available and avoids unexpected explorations into cyberspace... We have some very astute tamariki who never cease to amaze us just how confident they are at getting different functions working.(Popup ads are an example of how easy this can happen) For us we have a responsibility to help them to understand the importance of being careful and wise is our use of technology. The lock screen app we use doesn't let these open. Really paying for apps is the best answer which removes the issues of ads.
Android vs Ipad
We went with an android device as we were told our printer wouldn't 'talk to apple' devices - how wrong this information was, the result has been frustrating at times as we tried to find apps that worked for the purpose we originally intended. Consequently this meant that our tablet isn't being used as well as we would really like. We are now in the process of purchasing Ipod touch to use as camera and video tools for the teachers, and an ipad mini for tamariki.
So the learning to be taken from this is to get good advice - easier said than done I know but can save a lot of money (budget, budget, budget.....)
Would be great to have a NZ based place where we could review/ share apps that work as I have spent a lot of time researching to find ones that I like, but I am sure there are many others available, if only I had time. to find them.....Simple things like where to purchase cases that a lanyard can attach to,( best thing I have found when working with tamariki- the ultimate hands free tool)
Hope these are helpful, looking forward to hearing others ideas,thoughts