Saturday, August 15, 2009

ECE teachers lead the way

Today I was reminded again of an old NZEI union slogan that was going around when primary teachers were trying to get pay parity with secondary teachers "Shoe size shouldn't shape salaries". I was invited to attend "Touch the Future, Teach the Future", a conference put on for early childhood educators from around the north island by their ICT facilitators working with CORE-ed. This is the 3rd time they have held their annual hui at Pt England School, and every time I have been impressed by the level of integration of eLearning being carried out with these very young children. We should be very wary of making assumptions based on shoe size about what children are capable of learning using technology tools.
The workshops being held were for using tools that many primary and intermediate teachers are still not allowing their students to access. Photography, video editing, multimedia software, Comic Life, Voice Thread etc. And these, mostly women, have 3 and 4 year olds using this technology!
For my workshop on Oral Language I tried setting up my presentation in a Google site so the attendees could access all the material I presented afterwards. I was very pleased with the changes that have recently been made in Google sites and how easy it now is to embed and hyperlink all the content I wanted to.

Derek Wenmoth and Jane Nicholls, both from the CORE-ed team, gave inspiring keynote addresses, incorporating humour and challenge.

I came away at the end of today determining again to recommend to anyone going to ICT conferences such as ULearn to make sure that at least one of the workshops they attend is from the ECE sector. We all need to keep being reminded of what the kids wearing the smallest shoes are doing in their learning - even high school teachers!


  1. Thanks Dorothy for being a part of our Hui and inspiring so many of our teachers through your workshop and thanks for being such an amazing advocate for the capabilities of our under 5's! Throughout this 3 year project I am continually amazed by the skills and capabilities of our children at Kindergarten and ICT has opened up so many opportunities for extending their oral language, their knowledge of the world,literacy and numeracy, their relationships with others and the whole aspect of sharing their learning with everyone... just to name a few! Pt England School is the perfect venue with the perfect hosts. Thanks to you and Russell for all your support and work with us.
    Tania Coutts

  2. Sounds like exciting stuff Dorothy! Hope the relationship continues to grow. Must be brilliant to link across age group like that.

  3. Thanks Dorothy - I agree with you - it is important and refreshing to be reminded of how our little ones are progressing in today's world. Makes one more accountable with the children we directly deal with daily. Hopefully events as these and through blog posts as yours - those who get a little anxious about elearning in the 21st century - will finally take that step forward, quit the nervous shaking and get into the creative making!

  4. Thanks for the feedback Tania, Pete and Andrea. I was interested in a point made by Sonja here that many ECE teachers actually have MORE access to gear to use with their students than teachers of Yr 1/2 children do. I can see that having a camera close by in an ECE centre would be much easier than having to send to the central storage place is in the early primary years.
    Also interested in a list of ECE blogs supplied by Naketa on her blog.