Introduction

Hello fellow edcuators…

 

I’m Sarah, I live in Melbourne and I teach in a three to six year old classroom at Melbourne Montessori School. This is my second year in that classroom  and my tenth in Montessori education. In this course I am hoping to learn about effective and appropriate ways to use ICT in early childhood to prep class settings, that will also suit the alternative form of education I work in. I also hope to learn more myself about how ICT is used in different school settings. Currently I feel there is limited space for ICTs in early childhood. I believe that real activities requiring real movement and interaction are more important at this age and that children today are lacking in those opportunities because of technology’s impact on home life. I am comfortable using ICT, but there is always more to learn. I am a teacher because that is how to effect social change, through the future generation.

12 thoughts on “Introduction

  1. G’day Sarah,

    I’m going to be interested to follow the thoughts of you, Emma and the other Early Childhood folk in the course.

    My knowledge of the Early Childhood context is limited, so I’m hoping to learn much.

    I understand the argument about the importance of physicality for the early years, but I’m reluctant to accept that as a reason for the minimal application of ICTs. I’m wondering if there are creative ways that ICTs can be integrated without sacrificing other aspects that are important.

    I’m hoping you and the other Early Childhood folk can explore that more this semester.

    David.

    • Yes, well we will see. I hope to investigate it more myself through out the course, it is something I have been thinking about for a few years now and trying to find unobstrusive, non distracting ways to integrate computer and ICT use in a purposeful way. I have mentioned a few that I use in my week one post that contributes to assignment one. Digital camera use to record their own work, calculators to check answers to sums (not common in most early childhood settings, but I work in Montessori so it is part and parcel for us), google searches with them for research. My main complaint in google and computer research, is the children are not independent in it. Independence in their work is huge for my philosophy (Montessori Philosophy), their literacy skills at four or five are just not quite there to do anything except image searches and then there is the issue of what may come up depending on what they type in… they still spell phonetically so search results could be unexpected. I know there are internet content filters, but they aren’t really that good unless you purchase flash ones, and the school won’t do that so…. As yet there is no computer in the room for children to use. Our program is based on free choice of work, so if there was, it would have to be part of that free choice. It is a huge worry for me that many of the sensorial impressions gained from real world object use would be minimised if tasks already done in the real world, were transferred to computers. For example I have seen quite a few programs for mathematics, if that were a choice, I’m pretty sure the children would stop using the real materials, then those impressions they constantly get about size, length, quantity, weight, the physical carrying of units to exchange for tens would be lost. I am not completely against having a computer I would just need to find a way to choose the right things to use it for. Research is the one I like best because that is what I think the internet and computers do so well that nothing else does as well. But there are the problems I mentioned before, so I’d have to overcome them, or it would only be available to those children who can read and write well enough to use it effectively. The other use that comes to mind is writing letters, we have sent emails with the children before, again literacy based. The older classrooms in the school have computers and I pads. It’s hilarious because all the teachers went- um great, what do i do with this thing? I showed a few some apps to start with, but they really need education to go along with their new toys. They manage internet use by having a list of websites that are allowed and all others are not. Things like wikipedia etc, I could modify it for content that five year olds can read, there are children’s encyclopedias online. Again though it is then just for literate children. Perhaps that is reasonable way to start? I think I will link my blog with all the other early childhood peeps and see if we can get some discussion going because as you can probably tell, I’m searching for a way to have it work, but I keep hitting what I see are road blocks- things I won’t compromise. Maybe having it just for literate children is ok? There are other jobs in the room that are really only used by the five year olds.

      • G’day Sarah, For some reason I didn’t get an email when you responded to my comment (and what a comment!), so have only just now skimmed it. Don’t have time to engage just now, have to cook dinner, but a couple of quick points.

        One suggestion I have is that amongst the week 2 learning path is a pointer to a collection of online events created by the 2012 EDC3100 students. Amongst those was a number of events created by early childhood folk exploring the why and what of ICT integration.

        These might provide a springboard on which to build.

        The idea of explicitly getting the early childhood folk together to work on this is a great one. Anything I can do to help, please just ask.

        David.

  2. Congratualtions on creating your blog and for making such a greta introduction. It fits perfectly within your context.
    I’m an online EC student, hoping to gain more skills and knowledge to engage and inspire students whilst on my prac later in the semester.
    I look forward to following your blog.

    kylie

    • how did you find me and follow me through edu blogs? I can not figure it out and it’s driving me nuts! please let me know 🙂

  3. G’day Sarah,

    Have you seen/worked through the “Connecting within EDC3100 students” activity in the Week 2 learning path?

    It describes one approach to connecting with other students.

    David.

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