5
spring 2013
The Impact of Technology
The Changing Face of Education
Can the use of iPads support a child’s growth within the Early Years Learning Framework outcomes
of Identity andWellbeing? The digital world of learning is progressing rapidly and having profound
impacts on a young child’s life at home, with the consequent knock-on effects at school. How can
we incorporate information technology into an early learning setting? Last year, while engaged in
the
iCollaborate Innovation Project,
we discovered that iPads can actually extend a child’s identity,
in particular their sense of self in a social situation.When used appropriately as a tool for learning,
iPads can provide opportunities for flexibility and socialisation. Children learn not only how to take
turns, and to negotiate as they wait to use an iPad, but also their relationship with the teacher
changes, as many children are far more comfortable using this new technology than their teacher
is. Introducing the use of iPads in the Centre has been challenging but our knowledge of each child
has been vital in understanding where their strengths lie, and what they need to develop further.
As early childhood educators it is essential we keep abreast of new technology to guide our
students’ learning and to work with parents to develop a moral framework in which children are
able to operate safely.We need to recognise the risks involved with new technology and develop
strategies to reap the benefits of its use.The
iCollaborate Innovation Project
was vital in our
understanding of the role of this new technology in our Early Leaning setting and we can move
forward with confidence.
Helping Teachers to help our Children
The Director of Early Learning, Ms Karina Buttler, paid a
visit to Bialik College in Hawthorn recently to look at the
ICT programme operating there. The purpose of the visit
was to investigate further use of iPads to enhance a child’s
learning experience. Last year different applications were
used by the children in Early Learning to monitor their
emotional and social needs. This year iPads are being used
to help teachers in their documentation of the children’s
progress. Staff are able to take videos and photos of the
children as they are engaged in their activities and these
are then kept in the children’s portfolios. This not only cuts
in half the time it used to take teachers in their written
observations of the children, but also affords a richer
learning opportunity. Teachers are able to replay their
observations and gain a greater understanding of how
children learn. They observe how the children interact in
a large group, and what learning takes place between
individuals, as well as noting their physical dispositions.
This is a new and powerful way of enhancing teachers’
understanding of their students.