Tag Archives: preps

Too Young for Technology?!?

Regular readers of this blog will know that I am a secondary teacher and in the last few years have taught predominantly senior students. Due to a small year 11 group moving through our school, subjects are combined for year 11 and 12 classes. This has left gaps in my timetable and in 2012, I shall be teaching two prep/one classes  and a grade 4/5 class ICT. (Information and Communications Technology ie Computers and technology)
The question that my principal posed to me when I went to enquire about the direction to be taken with the 5 years olds was “Are preps too young for technology?“. My immediate reaction was ‘yes’ but on further reflection, I have come up with the following thoughts-

  • the majority are most likely using technology at home eg wii, games machines, ipods, iPads, Mum’s iPhone etc
  • most are too young to type and login with a username when they first start, but they can use their fingers for gesture based learning and hardware use, talk and use other forms of body language for communication. They can draw, take pics, record etc
  • I am in an almost ‘unique’ position being able to teach 5 year olds through to 18 years olds. Imagine the learning that will take place for me.
  • opportunity to teach them cyber safety from the youngest of ages
  • use technology to help with literacy and numeracy skills
  • chance to develop global competencies from an early age

Some tasks:-

  • check the VELs (Victorian Education Learning Standards) to see what is prescribed curriculum wise for level 1.
  • discover what technology students already use eg do they skype grandparents/relations?, have a wii, games machine etc
  • create a class blog – (dare I experiment with individual blogs halfway through the year?)
  • communicate regularly with parents, encouraging them to comment back on the class blog
  • setup an ultranet space for students and parents
  • enlist the help of parents during class time
  • book and use the school set of 10 iPads wherever possible
  • develop a buddy system
  • trial the use of easyspeak microphones to create simple podcasts to be embedded on the school blog
  • experiment with skype/playchat (first chat will be on Wednesday with Amanda Marrinan from Queensland) and with skype play. See the skype kinderchatplay project
  • participate in and lead a pioneering Flat Classroom K-2 Project
  • Add a column to my tweetdeck for #kinderchat, #elemchat #earlyyears, #skypeplay and follow the conversations on twitter

Do you think they are too young for technology? What have I missed? What apps should I use on the iPads? I like the idea of creating with technology. What have you used? What would you like to try? What advice do you have for me? Suggestions for any blogs, wikis etc as resources?

Are the littlies too young for technology?

Meet my two classes (Wordle was used to create the word clouds)

Preps, web2.0 and ICT

In our goal, with the support of our school leadership and teaching and learning team, to ‘lay the eplanks for a virtual classroom’, we are looking at the following elements of the conceptual age:-

  • connectivity
  • creativity
  • communicate

After speaking withTrish Butters, our current prep teacher, Trish was of the opinion (and I tend to agree with her), that there is little use for web2.0 in her classroom.  It is felt that preps (5 year olds) need to connect with each other and their teacher in this important formative year. Connections outside this realm would have no meaning or impact. 
 Despite, many of them going to Warrnambool to shop (a 30 minute trip), they still have no concept  of it being Warrnambool. If a map of the world was shown to them, it would have no meaning either. Even basic ICT and computer skill use is lacking. Some students still have had no exposure to a mouse or computers, and need to learn computer basics. So communication skills will be built upon within the classroom only.
This leaves creativity and my suggestion to Trish, that she might set up a class blog, where a collection of their activities, writings, art work could be stored online etc. Some interest was shown in this, but time is an important element. It would basically cover communication as well.
Any comments on this issue would be welcomed!!