Friday, September 5, 2008

Can Technology benefit Eudcation?

At Manaia Kindergarten technology has become integrated into the emergent curriculum.

Digital Photography
Children use technology to record and assess their learning. It has become a natural part of their kindergarten (and for some - home) lives. Children spend time creating sculptures with blocks, building volcanoes in the sandpit, or pushing their bodies to swing so high they can touch the shade sale... Then they grab a digital camera (or ask a friend or teacher to) and record their work. Quickly the analyse the images, return to their work, and perhaps modify their processes.

Movie Making
Later these same photos are often put together into a movie using Photostory3. Children again analyse their images - this time assessing which photographs best tell their story. The next step is to talk to their images and tell their story to an unseen audience. This can be tricky concept for children, so with the support of teachers they are sometimes encouraged to preview their movie and asked if they would like to make any modifications.

Children now expect that their movies will be show cased on the Kindergarten blog. They know that when their movie is on the blog they can share it with their families at home. Families at Manaia Kindergarten are emailed when their children have an item on the blog. The blog has become a focus for parents to support the children's learning and to find out what is happening for their children at Kindergarten. They regularly leave comments for their own children and other children who share their learning.

Learning Stories
Images children create with the digital camera can also be used to create stories of learning. Using Comic Life children can easily select their images of choice and drag and drop them into picture boxes on the digital page. With the support of a teacher, they share the words they want typed on the page. Children have a large amount of control of the way the final page will look - choosing the background colour, font and colour of the title, and the shape of the speach bubbles in which to type their words.

Note: the suggestion is that Technology benefit Education - Technology is not the education.

To explore this further you need only visit schools and early childhood centre's who have integrated technology into their programme.
Check out these sites:
Manaia Kindergarten - New Zealand
Geraldine Kindergarten - NZ
Kindergarten Tales - USA
Greenwood Kindergarten - NZ
Nelson Central Primary - NZ

Technology benefiting teachers
You might also like to consider how technology benefits education by the way in which it builds professional community. When teachers are engaged in technology, sharing their knowledge, reading about the work of everyday teachers such as themselves, then the profession of teaching becomes richer - and thus in turn - children/students education benefits.

Read also:
The Benefits of Technology in Education: Real life anecdotes of Technology in use in Kindergarten
Technology for Teachers, Technology for Education


Teacher's Guide to Science Fair Projects said...

Technology is a great tool for educators. It can be used to not only deliver superior curriculum and learning activities to their students, but it can also be use to access information that will help you to be a better teacher.

Gail said...

Technology has truly helped me to be a better tearcher/person. I use it to take classes, keep in touch with friends/family and to looke up new things. My children use it for homework, games and fun things. Because of my age I grew up in a world without techology. I think our children will have better lives because of technology.