Thursday, May 21, 2009

Why do you blog and what are you blogging about?

There are many Early Childhood Education blogs around these days. Its great!! It is wonderful to see such advocacy for Early Childhood. It would be interesting to know WHY early childhood centre's are blogging. What is your motivation to blog? What are your aims? What are your results?

Results is a strange word. But is it time to reflect on your aims and what you, your centre and your children are learning through blogging?

Linda - another of our great ECE ICT facilitators - wrote a thought provoking post in the subject.
"What are we blogging?" is well worth a read. In this post, Linda challenges us to think about what were are blogging. We often say we use blogs to celebrate children's learning. Are we celebrating product? What is happening to the process? Is process being valued through our blogs?

Do you have an example of an educational blog that celebrates process, is driven by children, or posts from parents?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Will Richardson on Blogging in Education

I really like Richardson's description of blogging. Have you ever heard a blog described as an online web journal? Is this your experience or does the term 'a journal' make you cringe too? Richardson describes it as a space for learning and that he has learned more from blogging than from his formal education years - including his studies towards his masters. If you were to describe, to endeavor to excite others about blogging - what words would you use?

Whats your definition of blogging?
Tell us about your blogging highlight?

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Best Cybersafety practices for young children

At Manaia Kindergarten we are often asked about our Cybersafety ideas, practices and policies.

  • I believe that the internet offers wonderful tools that enhance children's everyday learning, and tools to build community.
  • I believe that children should have access to the internet and a child has a right to have a presence on the internet if their family is in agreement.
  • I believe that by using the internet with children, children are able to learn some valuable lesson's about being safe on the world wide web. What a great time for children to learn such valuable lesson's when they are with trustworthy adults.

I also believe that children at home should have the same opportunities. Here are some safe practices that families can follow to teach children about the safe use of the internet.

1. Always have the computer in a family room - not in children's rooms (I would adhere to this until your children are ready to leave home)

2. Explore the use of safe internet filters on your computers. (read the comments on this post to learn more)

3. Always have an adult closely monitoring children's internet usage, while also giving children independent control of the computer. Just as you do with your children in public places - never be too far away from young children, give children more space/time on the computer as they grow older.

4. Teach your children that there are good (safe) sites and bad (unsafe) sites on the internet and what to do if they accidentally come across a site that doesn't look safe. There is an awesome example of this Cybersafety practice on Moving at the Speed of Creativity.

5. You should never put images of children on the internet without the permisson of their parents AND the permission of the child. Consider using pseudonyms or just first names of children. And teach children safe practices when our in real life public places. Keep personal contact details off the internet.

Those would be my top 5 tips. What are yours?

NetSafety New Zealand - safety tips for parents (including teens)

Blogged 27th July - Inbetweens Video on CyberSafety Practices

Monday, May 4, 2009

Building Self Esteem in Early Childhood Education

Term two begins and new children begin at Kindergarten. They each come with their own identity. At kindergarten they will develop their identity further. What will they learn about their identity while at your Early Childhood Center? What elements of their character will they see as valued? How will this contribute to their self esteem?

Unicef reminds us -

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Successful Education - A Quote

David Hutchings is a world renown dog handler and trainer, and recently featured on TVOne's Country Calendar. He's New Zealand's own Dog Whisperer, invited to the US and Canada to run training clinics in Stockmanship and Mustering. His skills, and what he brings to New Zealand mustering is significant.

And this is what he says about his own education:

"School wasn't for me...
I just found out what I needed to know, and then I found the best people around to learn from!"

Isn't that what education is all about?