tots ict ann hatherly ict and the greatest technology the teachers mind
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DESCRIPTIONAnn argues it is not the hardware or the software that matters but how the teachers use it.Technology- visually appealing, cutting edge of innovation, no longer regarded as a luxury, HOWEVER the greatest technology in any classroom is the TEACHERS MIND!.
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Introduction and background
There have been many debates
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As the integration of ICTcommonplaceed u catio n it is tim
r t' i t t,fLt r ic n t i ot
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to ref lect on the ways
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(tCT) is cottuttrtrrptlaca. ICTis nlrendq Ttnrt o.f cltiltiratt's/iz'e-s;
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that these tools are being used. In 2005, the New Zealand Ministry of Education published Foundotions for Discovery, a framework aimed at promoting the use of ICT as a tool to strengthen the education of young children. As part of this initiative, the Ministry of Education tendered a professional developmentcontract to C0RE Education in 2006. This pilot programme, known as the Ea'ly
literature about the appropriateness of using ICT in early childhood contexts (Alliance for Childhood, 2004; Brown, 2006; Edwards, Gandini & Forman,'1998; Stephen ft Plowman, 2003). However research that focuses specifically on
infants and young toddlers and
scarce. The teachers
at Tots Corner
believe that the instantaneity and highly visual nature of ICT captivates infants and young toddlers and has the potentia
to be a powerful tool for learning. Though
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Childhood Education Information andsV
they are acutely aware of the literature and critique of ICT use, the teachers atTots Corner believe that the way that they
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Communication Technology Professional Learning programme (ECE ICT PL), has 60 early childhood services participating nationally. These include educatlon and care centres, kinderqartens, playcentres and one hospital-based service. A group
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are using ICT is of substantial benefit to
the children in their care, and welcome
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opportunities to share their actions and the findings of their research sofar. They are very careful not to let the ICT diminish in any way the amount of hands-on experiential learning which is so important for young children. Those children who show a particular curiosity to learn and explore through the ICT tools, have the opportunitV to use the digital camera with the teachers, but these are generally not available in the play area for the children to freely access.The teachers are focusing their research
facilitators works with the early
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betrc.f[ts tlrc'ry cntt Ttrot,iLlt'(
Mirrist n1 of Educnt iorr,
2004). This nrticle looks ntIrortr otrc busq, .firll-d nq irtfntr t
childhood centre teams who are each engaged in action research aimed at improving teaching and learning with, and through lCT. Some of the teachers involved are focusing their research on infants and toddlers in particular. TotsCorner, where Hanna is teaching, is one such centre in theECE ICT PL
and where Linda is the facilitator. The teaching team in the babies' room at Tots Corner consists of three teachers working with infants and young toddlers
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tlnllttr,gc lo ittttgrntt ICT cuuqdny in tlutir
around creating and sharing documentation of children's learning experiences
with children, parents and families.
from slx months to two years old.
The Hanna'. Weore in oursecondyeorof ourECE ICT PL
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centre is licensed for ten children a day, who generally attend three to five days a week. As the research progresses it
project investigoting woysWe
thot we con enrich our pedogogicoldocumentotion through lCT.believe thot pedogogicol docu mento-
tm de rst
d itt g of
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is expected that new knowledge about the effective use of ICT to strengthen teaching and learning will emerge. Theteachers have been keen to explore the
tion of infonts' ond young toddlers'experiences
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I i t:
of infants and young
informs further our teoching proctice, reseorch, relotionships
(up to the age of two years old) as active
participants in this process.
both ot the centre ond beyond.
The First Years: Nga Tau Tuatahi. New Zealand ]ourna of lnfant and Toddler Education. Volume 10, lssue 2, 2008
The teachers view documentation as a reflective tool, central for their meaning making, and have taken the responsibility
tion. The teachers at Tots Corner are aware
another opportunity for parents/families to engage with their child's learning. Theycan read, think, reflect, interpret, share and
that there are always multiple perspectlvesfor looking at, analysing and understandinga child's perspective and then responding in
for making meaning of children's actionsand coming to their own decisions andinterpreting what is happening. They focus
an appropriate way.
on children's strategies of learning
As part of their actionhave investigated the use
Hanna: We use email os onothermeons of communicotion. AII leorning stories ore emoiled to fomilies, giving
meaning making as well as deciding how they can challenge the child's learning. Theteachers acknowledge that there is always
teachers in the infant room at Tots Corner
of photographs of the
to enable teachers and parents/whanau toreflect together on the perspective
tension with pedagogical documentationbeing a tool to assist organisation and atthe same time being flexible enough to shift
them on opportunity to contribute to their child's Leorning Story with
child. Listening, observing, documenting and interpreting are the key elements ofthe process.
o'porent/fomily response' withoutexpectation or judgment. As teocherswe g0in 0nother perspective
something different evolves & Robertson, 2006).
child's leorning through their contri-
bution. Shoring the Leorning Storiesond photogrophs creofes insight into
of ICT for teaching and learning has been a journey that began at Tots
The Tots Corner
Corner long before the centre becameinvolved with the ECE ICT PL programme.However, being part of this project has set
community has embraced communication through email. This has become a popular and convenient way
the child os there is on
opportunity for teochers ond porentsto shore their understondings through
of communicating between teachersparents/families. As all familiesCorner have email access either
out new pathways to deepen the learning
listening ond communicoting witheoch other.
for teachers and children using lCl Their approach has not been so much aboutintroducing newICT
equipment, as looking
more closely at how they use the resources
or at home, teachers use this as another means of sharing information with them. The teachers email all learning storieshome along with the weekly newsletter and
The teachers value all responses received
that they already have, to maximize theteaching and learning potential.
by parents/families, especially when they realised that parent and family voices canbe critical voices.
photographs of interest. Sharing children's documentation through email provides
Definition of ICTGiven the rapid expansion oftechnology, the
Hanna: Recordrn g children's expeflences
definition of rangeused
ECE ICT PL
through photogrophs hos ollowed us
is necessarily broad, encompassing the vast
revisit coptured moments ond goin
of electronic technologies that
forthecommunlcation of information.
onother perspective into children's leorning by listening with our eyes.Thot might sound like we hove mixed
meoning from their ploy. We spend consideroble time reflecting on the volidiLy of the interpretotions we moke from the photogrophs we toke. Whotexoctly is being photogrophed ond how?
These include computers including laptops,
Are we copturing through the lens theessence
the internet, blogs, wikis, digital still andvideo cameras, mobile telephones, printers,scanners, tablets, interactive whiteboards,
electronic toys, digital audio recordingdevices and digital microscopes
up our senses. Listening to us m