Technology is an amazing thing. Duffy and Bruns (2006) demonstrated that technologies like blogs promote desirable practices such as collaborative content creation and reflection of learning experiences, and enable peer and formative evaluation to take place. Through this group project, I not only learned technological skills on how to create a blog, post a reflection, make a comment and build a hyper-link, but also gained a deep understanding and knowledge about the significance of use of technology on children’s learning and development.
Blogging my group member’s reflections enabled me to gain various strategies and techniques on how to incorporate different technologies into early childcare. Making comments on their reflections stimulated me to do more readings on the relevant topics and made me more thoughtful about my own teaching experience. Reading other members’ comments on my reflections, I feel very encouraged and motivated to use more ICT in my teaching practice.
From Emma’s feedback on my first reflection, I feel very pleased with her comment that this situation sounds like a good way to create a home to centre familiarity through the use of technology. I am proud of myself to have provided child B with a learning environment which reflected the setting and activities of his home (Ministry of Education, 1996), and nurtured his emotional well-being with a sense of belonging. It is more appreciated that she gave me constructive suggestions to extend B’s learning by involve emailing, printing, downloading onto a computer with many more various technological tools. From Luahine’s comments on this reflection, I realized that I have the responsibility to help push implementing ICT in my home centre. I also value Melissa’s suggestion of giving the children day to day access to a camera solely for them as it will allow the children to revisit their experiences. It is a great way to help build on their cognitive skills.
From Emma, Luahine and Melissa’s comments on my second reflection the spray bottle, I learned that technology is everywhere, and we can use provoking questions to promote children’s thinking to use technology to help them solve problems, and enhance cognitive skills. Technology has endless possibilities to enhance children’s learning. What a creative idea to do spray art with a spray bottle by putting dye in it! I believe that our perspectives on technology have great influences on our teaching.
From Faa’s comments about using ICT, I believe that her concern about children’s health and safety is necessary. However, I think the advantages of using ICT outweigh the disadvantages when it is appropriately used in early childcare settings. Through this blogging platform, I become very sensitive in teaching children with technology. Last Tuesday, a two-year-boy was playing water. He wanted to get the plastic bottle in the middle of the tank, but it was beyond his reach. He pointed at the bottle to show me he needed my help. Why not use technology? I gave him a big spoon instead of passing the bottle to him. He successfully got it with this simple technology.
I’m sure I will learn more than the above from my group member’s comments as I haven’t got all the comments from them. As we have six members in our group, I made three comments on each of the two members’ reflection. I didn’t want anyone to feel isolated in the group. So I made two comments on each of the other three members.
Through the class discussions, course readings and blogging, I believe that the significance of use of technology is great on children’s learning and development. When used appropriately, technology can enhance children’s cognitive and social skills. Digital or electronic technologies offer opportunities to extend children’s learning in much the same way as other learning resources such as puzzles, blocks and art materials. They can also help improve children’s numeracy and literacy competency through playful activities or games which make their learning simpler and easier. Technology tools can greatly improve the documentation of children’s learning and development. Photographs and audio and video recordings have made it possible to document, archive, and share a child’s accomplishments. All these can help teachers improve the quality of the programs they offer young children.
Technology supports inclusive practices in early childhood centers with assistive technology that allow children with disabilities equitable access to participate more fully in the early childhood setting (Behrmann, 2010). These technologies can empower young children to increase their independence and support their inclusion in interaction with their peers. With use of appropriately designed technology, teachers can increase the chance that children with special needs will have the ability to learn, move, communicate, and create.
Technology promotes positive partnership with parents and family. Communication and social media tools can be used to share a child’s developmental progress and communicate with parents and families. With technology becoming more and more common as a means of communicating with one another, early childhood teachers can use technological media tools to keep in touch with families such as blog, e-mail, telephone or cell phone. Parents feel more connected their child while they are away. In the same way, teachers can get information about children at home so that they can work out plans that meet the individual needs of children’s learning and development.
Behrmann, M. (2010). Assistive technology for young children in special education: It makes a difference. Retrieved from www.edutopia.org/assistive-technology-young-children-special-education.
Duffy, P. & Bruns, A. (2006). The use of blogs, wikis and RSS in education: A conversation of possibilities. In Proceedings Online Learning and Teaching Conference 2006, pp.31-38. Brisbane, Australia.
Ministry of Education. (1996). Te Whāriki: He whāriki mātauranga mo nga mokopuna o Aotearoa .Wellington, New Zealand: Learning Media.