30 September 2014

Post-It Plus in the Early Years.

I've been on Twitter again, I love this place...I don't visit as often as I like but I always, always come away with a gem. Here is this week's gem

With this free app installed on your iPad you can snap a picture of a collection of physical sticky notes and have them quickly digitized. Once your notes are digitized you can re-arrange them, share them with collaborators, or send them to another application like Dropbox. If you have multiple sets of notes you can combine the best notes into one board through the Post-it Plus iPad app.

If you have read my post with my Reflection on Assessment in the Early Years workshop  you will have seen that I use post-its a lot for capturing children's stories. You can capture the Post-its in digital form and have these converted into an excel sheet. How cool is that?

Here's what I tried today, I captured the Post-It's using Post-it Plus, then I exported it to an excel using Dropbox - all of my notes are now in a digital format...

Looking forward to seeing how this can be used further in the classroom.

17 September 2014

I am NOT an advocate for technology...

I am NOT an advocate for technology! I've done the research, I've read the case studies and opinion pieces. I am not an advocate for technology. I AM AN ADVOCATE FOR LEARNING...

It's the new academic year at TKS and I have taken it upon myself to support my team with technology. I have been an avid technology user in my personal life for years, an ICT facilitator in a previous job, a teacher who embraces technology in the classroom... but I am not a technology advocate.

I've had my fair share of giving the pro-technology speeches:

* Digital natives vs. Digital Immigrants
* Technology is the cultural tool of today - do not deny the cultural tools of our 21st century learners.
* Technology can transform learning
* Access to information, anytime, anywhere
* Children can self-regulate their learning.
* You can make learning visible for students. parents and families.

I believe all of this...but I am not a technology advocate.

Before coming to TKS I worked in a centre that were leading the way with Nature Kindergartens in NZ. The Director sent several teachers to Forest Schools in England to become certified Forest School educators. Several of my nieces and nephews still attend this early childhood centre, and the photo below shows the types of experiences my niece is engaged in during a typical week. I've read the research and the case studies, nature is vital for physical well-being, growth and creativity. I've given the pro-nature speeches and I believe and value everything about Nature Kindergarten.

I am not a technology advocate - I AM AN ADVOCATE FOR LEARNING!

I know technology can and will make a difference to learning. While I am a technology user I am not a fan of using technology for the sake of using technology. 

*I want to see technology being used to enhance learning, not to entertain children. I want to see technology transform learning and offer experiences that no other tool can offer, here are some examples of how technology is being used in my classroom to transform learning:

* Skype - Last year we Skyped classrooms from all over the world, we peeked inside classrooms and houses in NZ, Korea, Switzerland, Australia, Saudi Arabia, China, USA.
* I used QR codes and Aurasma to bring wall displays to life.
* We used Twitter to learn about a school in Calgary, Canada - they spoke French (Kindergarten around the world project).
* We created our very own Frozen movie (green screen and all)- children designed costumes and performances.
* QR codes are bringing learning stories to life.
* Children are taking their own photos and blogging straight from iPads

I am not an advocate for technology, I am an advocate for learning...in fact you'll see me with a pen and paper, in the mud kitchen or playing soccer most days of the week.