An interesting report from Stranmillis University College in Northern Ireland. Based on a research project in primary schools, it evaluates the impact of iPads on learning in the Early Years Foundation Stage. The report can be found at: http://www.stran.ac.uk/media/media,756133,en.pdf
At the E2BN conference I did a workshop looking at how technology can be used to support the early years curriculum.
As part of this I shared some suggestions for useful apps. While apps can be used by children individually I try to find ones that are open ended and can be used with other people.
This pdf has information about the apps that I talked about. They are great for supporting discussion, and for exploring imaginary worlds: EarlyYearsE2BN17
This is a lovely video to use with children. As well as learning the song and dance they can sequence the parts of the song.
The sequencing can be done in a number of different ways. One example is to print the images on PostIt notes so that they can be arranged to match the dance.
Some examples are in the files listed below. There may be images missing so children can debug the sequence and draw additional image to solve this problem.
Children can also rearrange the images to create their own dances for other children to try and follow.
If you’ve never come across the idea of printing on PostIt notes you can find out how at this website: http://iheartplanners.com/2015/05/08/how-to-print-on-sticky-notes/
I will be delivering a workshop at the E2BN Conference again this year. The focus is:
Understanding the World Through Technology
Young children are surrounded by technology that provides exciting opportunities to explore the world. This session will show how a range of technologies can support learning by offering practical ideas directly linked to the Early Years curriculum. Delegates will also be able to try out simple activities that will introduce children to the Computing Curriculum.
I will write up a full blog entry about this soon, with links to the resources I am planning to talk about. In the meanwhile I have uploaded a Pdf version of my presentation. The original is a huge file with lots of videos, this is a much smaller version, though still quite large.
What is educational technology
One of the activities at the workshop was a discussion about what educational technology is. It is often defined as computers, tablets and Interactive Whiteboards but can be interpreted much more broadly. To help with the discussion I prepared a number of cards with pictures of different resources / technologies. Some show things that are educational, some are technology, some are both and others may be neither. There are no right answers, the aim was to get people talking.
The cards are available as pdfs here:
A teacher recently told me about some research that has been done in to the number of words children from different backgrounds will have heard by the age of three. It suggests that there is a huge gap between children from the wealthiest and poorest families. As the amount of words a child is exposed to influences their language development this is obviously an important consideration.
Part of our discussion focussed on the fact that it would be easy to look at the stereotype of a professional family providing more language than a working class family. However, this is not always the case. The professional family may have little time to spend with their children who could spend a lot of time in child care. It is also important to consider the quality of communication. A child may hear lots of words from the television but interaction with an adult would be more important.
For more information see: