Open Discussion Forum

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  • 1.  Technology and Young Children Interest Forum

    Posted 08-26-2018 07:38 PM

    How has equity and diversity effected young children and technology? Has it made an impact in how children interact with technology in the classroom?

    Kelly Dalsemer
    Oviedo FL

  • 2.  RE: Technology and Young Children Interest Forum

    Posted 08-28-2018 01:57 AM
    When I was a child the tools used for learning were the same as today with one exception, the introduction to technology.
    Welcome to 21st century learning.
    As many will debate, the academic outcomes of tech use in the classroom, no one argues that as a society technology have changed the very fabric on how we live, work, and play. Obviously, education and learning has been transformed as well. That said,  the push back and challenges in implementing successful broad scale programs have left many to question technology in and of itself, as it relates to our youngest learners.
    Health concerns lead the charge, as with behavior and long-term affects of screen-time. A tech euphemism liberally applied to any mention of tech use in early learning by its pundits who fear the addictions to tech will spell doom to our children's development  in the early years.

    Being responsible towards our children's exposure in any type of learning medium, and its long-term effects, is the key that unlocks the door to unlimited potential for early learning success.

    In the pass decade kindergarten failure rates have doubled. Most people outside primary academia find it perplexing that their is such a thing as a child failing kindergarten. From a philosophical perspective we are failing children before they even get started. It's no wonder that parents seek better tools to give their children an academic edge by any means necessary.

    As the cold war on tech and early learning makes it's debuts in the chat rooms, forums and conferences the nation over, access to technology still alludes many of children who would benefit most from structured and responsible use of technology as a learning tool.

    Perhaps we can make a dent in the addictions of tech when children view it as a learning tool early , as opposed to an entertainment and social experience in their latter years where addictions run amuck.    Just a thought worth noting.

    Gary Beulah
    Riverdale GA

  • 3.  RE: Technology and Young Children Interest Forum

    Posted 08-28-2018 09:02 PM
    I attended a conference specifically devoted to the use of technology with North Carolina Department of Instruction over the summer.  It introduced me to so many resources for young children, though some were definitely not for PreK and younger there was one app called SEESAW that I was very interested in.  It allows children to post their own work to a portfolio by taking pictures of things they have done in the classroom, recording audio and video and even writing directly onto the tablet or iPad.  Parents can access their child's portfolio directly using a QR code.  When the children use the app they also use a QR code posted in the classroom.

    I also like the activities section, you can post activities to individual children's accounts, such as, "Find a Shape"... they search for a shape in the classroom, take a picture and then record what they notice about the shape.  I am still in the process of starting to use the program as this is the first week of school but I feel with responsible use of the program it can become a great enhancement to my classroom and allows the children the opportunity to reflect on their work.  So far I love it.

    I think the important idea that I heard at the conference was that we are supposed to be using the things that children are interested in to engage them in learning, a long time foundation in the early learning community.  The fact is children are interested in using technology.  As teachers, we need to find ways to use the technology to create opportunities that are engaging.  I use open ended questions with my students as they record.  This week I have been the one who takes the pictures and pushes all the buttons to add their work.  Next I will teach them how to add it themselves.  We are going to discuss making sure that they add things they are proud of, "WOW work" as SEESAW calls it.  I'm really excited about this new tool in my classroom.

    If anyone else tries it please let me know.  By the way, the program is free for the basic version which is more than enough for the early childhood classroom.

    Happy Teaching - Natalie

    Natalie Lands
    Wendell NC

  • 4.  RE: Technology and Young Children Interest Forum

    Posted 09-13-2018 11:57 AM
    I found the op-ed by Tamara Kaldor and Jenna Herdzina of the TEC Center, in response to the recent AAP statement on Play to be very thought-provoking.

    Many of their comments, such as "While advocating for play is a step in the right direction for valuing early learning and development, academic achievement gaps and developmental concerns are incredibly nuanced and cannot be solved by simply instructing parents to play with their children or through technology. Advocating for play must be informed by cultural values and current family situations and by joining families where they live, eat and play." seem very relevant to this conversation.

    Bonnie Blagojevic
    Morningtown Consulting
    Orono ME