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TechTimes :)

CUSTOM SOLUTIONS

Is being an ICT friendly Kindergarten expensive??? I remember being quietly sarcastic at the beginning of the ICT project the ministry funded that the one project guaranteed to need money to do it didn’t get any– the COI’s had enjoyed a big cash injection. However on retrospect I am supportive of those motives. Lots of people didn’t always buy the very valid findings of other projects as they rationalized that it only happened due to fantastic budgets. One of the national ECEICTPL project goals was proven sustainability– both as a culture of practice and equipment. They wanted results based

Check out the latest posts on our project blog…. http://wonderingaboutict.blogspot.co.nz

Latest posts include– blog-

on everyday ece life. Makes sense when you think about it.

ging, microscope work, face-

Yes– it’s hard to use ICT with children if you don’t bring it out of the office often

book, photostory, intentional

enough for children to recognise the possibilities...we know that the biggest learning magic is not always pre planned stuff from teachers. The best out-

teaching….. Lots of video of

comes happen when teachers get on board with what is happening and run

real teachers sharing their

with it. Hard to do for our 21st century learners if they don't get everyday ac-

thoughts about their jour-

cess to the ‘gear’ that many of them are used to. So—yes it can be expensive– but it doesn’t need to be. Just have innovative and flexible teachers who can make good use of what we have already got. Old computers work too…… with a bit of TLC!

neys with ICT. Check it out!


Celebrating Innovation….

E portfolios… would that suit you? This notion has been around for quite a while and I don’t think ( personally) it will ever replace the hard copy printed version. However schools are putting more and more emphasis on them– the more cross sector scenarios I access the more I see. I also see that many parents don’t come into the Kindergarten very often– and if they do don’t have time to interact with the programme. Some centres have solved this with blogging or emailing. E portfolios have been done with individual blogs too– but there are many other way to do this. Recently an internet format is being developed called ‘storyjar’ where stories about children can be written directly onto the site and tagged to learning purposes and people so that a community of on line learners can engage with it.

It is also printable so a hard copy profile still exists. Parents own their child’s story jar as much as teachers do…. And who might be invited browsers are also their perogative. This is still being developed and an exciting aspect is that it is being informed by ece practiioners as well as software developers that have actually read and understood “Te Whaariki!” Good news. They are looking for centres to trial it and feed back, and the association has had a preliminary look at it and fed back themselves. How nice to find another way to get comments on children’s learning and as a way to generate a community between parents……. It would be really nice to have software that automatically contacts parents by email when new stories concerning their child is posted…… and to get comments on what is happening while it is still current! I

Interactive learning stories....

After a Titahi Bay team talk ‘shooting the breeze’ about using power point to document planning stories we thought we might have a play with Powerpoint in general. Well done to Sarah for taking this a step further and trialling powerpoint for a more interactive learning story– with movie footage as part of the story or primary data. It certainly resonates with children who are computer enthusiasts! It will be interesting to see where this might lead...


ICT to provoke involvement and research...

What never fails to surprise me when I work with children in a free play programme with all the tools they need, is the spin off effects of being a collaborative member of a group. ICT is no different than any other tool. If children can’t get at it with out asking a teacher to go and get it– a whole raft of spin off effects don’t happen. Here is a pair of stories from Plimmerton Kindergarten from everyday sessions. They have a computer out for children to access during the session– with clips reflecting the interests in the programme on the desktop for children to open when they want to. When two boys follow an interest they have been researching about spiders, we support this interest by putting a series of clips readily available in case they want to explore further. Here they are using play prop spiders alongside wool and the computer clips to experiment with how to weave a web ( not as easy as it looks it seems!). Lots of children were drawn in to help and a great dramatic exploration of the ideas ensued—with frequent reference to the clips being made. Some weeks later another child– not obviously part of the original core group begins recalling what happened and exploring further . She revisits spiderweb making clips on the computer to help her recall further what she had discovered, and then widens her ideas to that of making a chrysalis and the notion of a lifecycle. The advent of nearby paper and pens as she revisits the clips and chats is a mute invitation to document her ideas using art media…. and to take charge of interested participants who join her to share her agenda. So– here’s the challenge… is it hard for children to gain autonomy as they investigate a line of thought ? Technology can be a tool to provoke the inquiry or as a means of visit and reflection….


Goblins in the Sandpit??! While we are celebrating innovation and exploring how technology contributes to a child centred programme…. Here’s a wee tale from Discovery Kindergarten. Children in the group had been followed a play script in the sandpit where the goblins had been apparently burying treasure ( which apparently looks quite a lot like carpentry wood!). Today was wet and the key players set about designing an indoor goblin infested sandpit using the mimio interactive white board– we had to articulate what they might look like and find some images to match our ideas ( or I guess we could have drawn them!) and add them to our sandpit background. Lots of children were involved in sharing their ideas about this script– the characters and their behaviours and what might happen next in the sandpit. The great thing was as we added new goblins, was that we could move them around to scurry up the poles and over the sunshade, or hide behind objects, or grow big from eating too much sand…… dramatic play in another curriculum area! And a thinking, creative and verbal workout as we shared our ideas with our friends. I wonder what treasure this sort of sandpit might hold?

IPads in Kindergartens? Some kindergartens have been in dialogue about ipads…. and how they might be used in a session—do we game using technology ( being as we generally accept that children learn through play in other areas of the curriculum! ) Just playing Devils advocate here! Have you used them? Let us know on annradcliffe30@gmail.com

ICT news number 4  

here's the next instalment in the journey of 13 Kindergartens into the technological age.....

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