Emma (Manaia's ICT Support Person) and I spent the day on Saturday in Auckland. We were with the many other teachers from Auckland Kindergartens and Childcare centres who are part of the ICT ECE PL Programme. It was great to re-establish our links with others who are thinking and working along similiar wave lengths to Manaia Kindergarten. It was an opportunity for Emma to meet the facilitators and leaders of this programme for the first time. The first talk focused on the research side of our ICT ECE PL programme. We were encouraged to think about the purpose of our involvement in the ICT programme. Nick Billowes put it this way "If someone goes to a store to buy a drill they are not really wanting a drill - they are wanting a hole!". Our focus for bringing ICT into kindergartens is to improve and enhance the quality of children's learning. Emma has summed up in her reflections of the seminar, "The chinnese proverb, 'teachers open the door - you enter by yourself' - reflects teachers' roles as mediators between children and the world that greets them."
It was emphasised at the Hui that Action Research, which is a major part of this programme, is about reflecting on ICT in our context and sharing our ICT story. We goal continues to be to share our stories with families and others in the education sector so that we may all learn.
Our second seminar focused on the benefits of ICT and literacy learning. ICT presents new possiblities for early literacy that go hand in hand and compliment more traditional literacy experiences. "It is an essential part of the teaching role to identify and extend new literacies" (Emma).
Emma - Mt Roskill South Centre of Innovation
"Seven years ago, in 2000, all Roskill South Kindergarten had in the way of technology was a phone, a fax, and a copier. Karen Ramsey, one of three teachers at Roskill South to take on the ICT program in 2003, talked about her experiences. The full report can be found through the Ministry of Education’s website.....Roskill South was challenged with the question “How does the innovative use of ICT in pedagogical practice build community, competence and continuity?” Karen reported that to find the answer to this they ‘looked to the children.’ Karen told some very touching stories about how the ICT program had influenced the lives of the kindergarten children. ICT helped to form deeper relationships between teachers, children, parents and the community through learning stories and photo/video records of activities inside and outside the classroom."
Beverly - Podcasting
This was a hands-on workshop on podcasting. A simple definition of podcasting is "a combination of technologies that allows users to create radio-like content with their computers and allows listeners to automatically receive that content over the Internet, then play it on their computers or portable music players." I was most excited about the use of an Apple Mac programme called Garage Band to created visual and audio commentries. I was very excited about the possiblities of this programme with or without podcasting. Using Garage Band gives us the opportunity to record or video learning and easily edit. One such application is to create digital files of children's stories (using their own pictures or published pictures), record children's voice as they read or create the storyline, add music for atmosphere, and use musical instrument to add sound affects. These could either be used to share with our immediate community at Mat time or during our sessions, or to share our learning with other educational facilities (other kindergartens or local schools). Garage Band can also be used to record children's plays and with such an easy programme the children can be involved in the editing process of their production. This will encourage critical thinking, decision making, visual and audio design etc.
We look forward to exploring this programme with the children.