Tom Barrett’s reflections on being a foundation teacher is an interesting read: http://edte.ch/blog/2010/05/30/reflections-on-being-a-foundation-teacher/ . Considering the role technology has to play in the Early Years, Barrett makes several valid points:
1) Young children are aware of technology in their everyday life, mainly from the exposure to mobile and online technologies at home.
2) There is a need for a clearly thought out strategy for the use of technology with the foundation years of school.
3) Technology enhances and supports the role of record keeping and evidence gathering in the foundation stage…”Learning happens and occurs at such a fierce pace, sometimes unexpected, sometimes planned – a strong tech solution for gathering, tagging and recording these occurrences would be ideal”.
The last point highlights documentation as a key component to successful Early Years programs. Teachers are required to capture the learning that takes places using technology tools, and make this learning visible to the learning community. At ISM, more focus is being given to documentation through Learning Journals (LJ’s). LJ’s provide a chronological record of student learning and experiences, an accurate form of assessment and reporting and a hands on resource for student and teacher reflection.
So where to from here….more student involvement/ ownership in the creation, maintenance and evolution of student’s Learning Journals, alongside regular teacher professional development and ‘tinkering’ in technology, to continue to find meaningful ways to use technology in Early Years classrooms.