The Very Young and iPads

In my personal video about why I came into the Master of Arts in Learning and Technology I made reference to how I believed teachers were not supported in their use of technology. I found Clayton Kearney was using iPads to support the children’s learning. After some initial conversations with him I went looking for other articles. I knew Suzanna So-Har Wong had done some research with young children and iPads so I “googled” her and found a link to an article she had written that had been published in Early Childhood Education, Vol 41, No 1, 2013. While scrolling through to find Wong’s article I came across one before it also dealing with iPads written by Jennifer Tonn and how she uses iPads in her classroom. Tonn had her kindergarten children making videos using an app called Puppet Pals. She then played the video through the Smart Board. I would like to say that I recognised the value of her work on my first reading, however, I was so stuck on what I “knew” that I couldn’t acknowledge that the children were experiencing language development. They were learning leadership skills and they were learning collaboratively. Do I still think that the kindergarten/grade 1 students should be memorizing the building blocks of letter formation and addition skills – absolutely, however. I have come to recognise the value of Tonn’s work. On a parallel path these young people need to learn how to learn which was very apparent in both the article written by Wong and the one written by Tonn

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One thought on “The Very Young and iPads

  1. Darlene, great post! It is truly incredible to see the possibility that can come from introducing technology into a school! It is even more incredible to see what children as young as four are capable of with tech integration (check out the Shadow Puppet app too). The HUGE issue that comes to my mind, which I think we are both currently facing in our careers, is having a lack of people in our schools who are comfortable with using technology so they can encourage their students to use it with purpose, but also, comfortable enough to share their knowledge with other educators. Without this, educators will be very hesitate to add “learning new tech platforms” to their already extensive to-do list. Word of mouth is incredibly contagious and I know that in my classroom, I am getting other teachers, students and parents to recognize and talk about the tech use I exhibit with my students. I am hoping that this word can continue to be spread. I am always open to supporting other educators in bringing tech into the classroom and I think it is important for schools to ensure they have educators who can share this experience with others too. We have to keep up with the changes happening in this digital age we live in!

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