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.