Technology becomes part of the every day
Using technology as part of their everyday practice gives the educators at Goodstart South Hurstville the opportunity to empower children to learn in new and exciting ways.
The centre uses technology every day, whether it be by incorporating a big interactive touch screen television into literacy lessons, using story-telling apps, or using programs that help children learn new languages.
As well as using their large Prowise board to tell interactive stories, the children are also given the opportunity to use story-telling apps that allow them to do voice-overs of their favourite stories, or narrate their own stories.
“We use story-telling apps to expose children to the elements of creating a story,” said early childhood teacher Kate Anthony.
The centre also uses language apps to learn other languages, in particular Mandarin.
With a large proportion of Chinese families, children at the centre who can speak Mandarin are helping the educators and other children learn their language by recording their own voice pronouncing particular words and then sharing the English version with their classmates.
The centre is also testing a robot called Mao.
“Mao is on loan from Goodstart and it is intended to help children with additional needs and also help with social education,” Ms Anthony said.
Mao has just arrived at the centre and educators and children are in the process of testing and programming it.
“When used as a tool, technology has enabled us to do things with our children that we wouldn’t normally be able to do,” Ms Anthony said.
“For example a child might make a tower out of blocks and we will take a photo of it and then use an app that lets them trace around the photo- this experience has given them the opportunity to see things from a different perspective,” she said.
“From a teaching perspective, technology provides a good opportunity for reflection and record keeping because it is quick and easy to record what’s going on and then that can be built on.”
She said technology also allowed all children to contribute to their learning environment in ways that suited them.