Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Efellows for life

What an inspiring bunch of awesome educators who have been on this incredible journey with me. The wisdom, knowledge and skills we have shared together has taken my learning to another level. Efellows for life - friends for life - dedicated to inspiration for life. What an amazing experience this has been. Thank you CORE education for this wonderful opportunity, and to the Northland Kindergarten association for their support. I owe my colleagues big time for encouraging me on this journey and putting up with my absences on significant days. There is lots to share, which I will do with pleasure.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Google Girls

Truly inspired at Google Apps For Education as part of the Efellows master class.

YouTube video editing - will Manaia children jump on the journey? What amazing tools YouTube has to inspire learning, collaboration, and sharing knowledge with the world.

Google Forms - a definite for communicating and encouraging contributions from families.

And much much more....

What is your most valued Google App and WHY?
Which Google Education App do you use most and WHY?

Friday, August 17, 2012

MoMA Art Lab

Children's Collaborative Creation - Manaia Kindergarten

There are many creative apps for the ipad, but what is different about MoMA Art Lab ($4.99 NZ) is its link to the Museum of Modern Art (New York). Using 'simple' shapes and techniques children can explore colour, balance, shape whilst creating a work of art. Designs can be complex or 'simple' - and both stunning. Children can explore the processes of creating abstract modern art, and they can save their final creations to print and display. The MoMA Art Lab encourages group collaboration through the use of 'Create an exquisite corpse'. Based the age old game where friends draw different body parts on folded paper, children can create a surprise drawing together... ideal for a kindergarten setting. Above is the design created by three Manaia Kindergarten children. You can see them in action using the app together, on the Manaia Kindergarten blog - Drawing Together with MoMA.

The Art Lab tools that are provided for creations mimic techniques used by the Great Artists, and introduce young children to great paintings. Below is a YouTube clip highlighting many of the creative attributes of MoMA Art Lab for the iPad.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hurve Tullet

Having been inspired from the efellow's masterclass, I have arrived home and continue to read, research, watch, listen, and explore ideas.

I have discovered a great blog by John Funk.  I enjoyed his recommendation of the book Press Here by Hurve Tullet.

I have previously heard about this book.  I thought I'd wait for the ipad app Press Here - LOL. However, on further research, I watched a youtube video of children interacting with this book. I realised that an ipad app would clearly contradict the message of the book. And, I believe, it would be a contradiction of Hurve Tullet's philosophy.

Hurve Tullet's books inspire me. I found a great video interview (2min) with Hurve Tullet, about his book Doodle Cook. As an artist and educator, this interview inspires me. I can imagine the possibilities with our children and I look forward to further exploring this artist, author and his books, with the children at Manaia Kindergarten.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

CORE EFellow 2012

The CORE Education eFellowship Awards "recognise innovative e-learning practice by New Zealand teachers.

"fellow in the broadest sense is someone who is an equal or a comrade. The term fellow is also used to describe a person, ..... group of learned people who are awarded fellowship to work together as peers in the pursuit of knowledge or " happiness. - Wikipedia 

TED talks? Try out Ed Talks for Educational Inspirational

You have heard of TED Talks - Ideas worth spreading. Now check out EDTalks - "a collection of video interviews, discussions and presentations featuring thought leaders, innovative educators and inspirational learners."

CORE Education has harnessed the ideas into a site for inspiring educators and learners from across the sectors, to share their provocative thoughts and inspiring challenges. Be encouraged to try new horizons...

Specific Ed Talks that relate to ECE in ICT are:

Don’t underestimate early childhood education - Margaret May

Why ICT in early childhood education?  - Tara Fagan

ECE and ICT - by Tania Coutts

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Talking Tom - fun, entertaining, social teacher

When Manaia Kindergarten first began using the ipad, we couldn't help but download Talking Tom The children very quickly learnt that if you tickle or tap him he goes crazy and falls down. In a previous post I asked the question - Games or educational apps: What's the difference?

Thank you Margaret for your response
"What I am finding is that they are being used (as with desk top computers) by groups of children, thus stimulating discussion, social interaction, and shared learning experiences." Margaret also inferred that the learning she expected to happen, is not the learning that IS happening.

Children set their own learning goals, explore intensively, learn and share. Here is a great example of an 'entertainment' app that certainly entertained, but also encouraged clear enunciation, turn-taking, well processed questioning skills, stimulating 'discussion' and social interaction.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Exoplanet - ipad apps for young children

Do a Google search "apps for young children" and inevitably you are provided with a selection of app icons showing cartoon characters, alphabet flash cards, peekaboo and nursery rhymes. Some of these are great (though never the flash cards!!) But our children deserve more! Our children are capable of more! I recently took an evening session in astronomy for children at our local school on camp. Unfortunately it was cloudy, so we turned to technology. In preparation for this, I had downloaded apps onto the Manaia Kindergarten ipad to use with the school children. The session went brilliantly (but more of that on another post). I left the apps on the ipad and took it back to Kindergarten. I did not alert the children to these new apps - I left them to make their own discoveries. Two weeks later, Otis's Nan brought this picture in to Kindergarten.

Otis told his Mum, "The sun is in the middle of our earth and the earth is going around and round the sun. The planet on the outside is Jupiter."

Wow - When did he learn this? His family had not spoken to him much about the solar system, but he does have a natural curiousity towards stars and planets. He had found the apps, explored them, and set up his own learning goals. Check out the app Otis explored.

Once you have zoomed into Planet Earth's solar system - you can manipulate it for a better look...

Otis clearly had some knowledge of the solar system - such as knowing about the existence of planets, the names of some planets - and he was able to further extend his knowledge by exploring the ipad app Exoplanet. This is a sophisticated app and through this app you can learn about other solar systems - enabling teachers and parents to learn alongside their children. There is huge potential for Otis to further extend his knowledge of solar systems because this app isn't "just for children". It doesn't limit knowledge to information we THINK children can handle.

I continue to search for apps that support children's interests and current knowledge....

In the meantime check out Exoplanet - an added bonus is that its free.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Educational Apps vs Games

I'm just interested. I have been grappling with the kind of apps are acceptable on our Kindergarten ipad. I often hear teachers and parents say - "I don't want them to JUST play games"

So what do you see is the difference between a GAME and an EDUCATIONAL ipad app?