Digital tools are the digital resources that enable the use of technologies to facilitate communication and access to information. They can be useful facilitators of communication between the school, families and other partners in the educational community. They are also good allies of educators, as they can work as a complement, in the teaching and learning process, and the interactions and activities that are developed in the day to day of kindergarten.
The pandemic has shown us that digital tools can be a good way of maintaining the communication with children and their families, and a close relationship between the school, the family and the rest of the educational community.
If you are looking for a tool to communicate with families from a distance, which allows you to have instant feedback, Classdojo is the right tool!
Classdojo is a free, and safe, application that works on all devices and allows us to create a virtual classroom, a true educational community formed between school and families, and where, even at a distance, we can share the most significant moments of the child’s teaching-learning process: photos, messages, videos and much more.
It gives us the possibility to give immediate feedback on the assigned activities / tasks, contributing to improve the child’s self-confidence. And most importantly, it allows the child to explore, learn, and develop their self-esteem through the positive reinforcement that the educator passes to the her and her family and, above all, it allows children to have fun….VERY FUN with their avatar!
Digital tools are the digital resources that enable the use of technologies to facilitate communication and access to information. In education, they are a good ally of educators, as they can work as a complement, in the teaching and learning process, to the interactions and activities that are developed in the day to day of kindergarten.
They can also be facilitators of communication between the school, families and other partners in the educational community.
In this lecture we have chosen six digital tools to help the educator and the families:
Classdojo (see lecture 2)
Now it’s time to explore the different digital tools.
It is undeniable the extreme importance and usefulness that the various digital tools have reached, especially in the last two years with the presence of COVID 19 in our lives, in the world, which has made us a little hostage to distance communication through them. It was necessary to adapt the pedagogical practice to this new reality, creating new resources and investing in new distance learning strategies.
In this sense, inside of the Erasmus Project “KEEP IN TOUCH”, we have created five Digital Ateliers, which aim to be an ally of educators (whether they are kindergarten teachers or families), a support for the diversification of children’s learning, in the most different areas, and a facilitator of competences for the use of new technologies, always with a pedagogical perspective.
Based on a fantastic children’s story – The color Monster – we intend that they can be developed, either in an educational context or in a family context, with the use of technological resources that allow the child to become increasingly competent in the digital resources area, combining creativity and play, not forgetting the importance of the FAMILY in this process.
Children statistically have first contact with digital devices at the age of one year.
Therefore it is important for parents and educators to serve as role model and to lay the foundation of media competence early on in order to help children growing up with and navigate the possibilities of digital media while avoiding any pit falls.
In kindergarten, children can actively and cooperatively learn about the creative potential of digital media. This offers many new possibilities for expression and design, in teamwork with other children in a safe environment.
Function of digital tools in media projects with children in Kindergarten
Having digital resources at hand in Kindergarten is an important way for gathering information, communicating, organizing, processing data and for many more possibilities. Digital media allow children to learn with new tools about science, artistic expression, written language, mathematics etc. While implementing technical means children can change from consumer to producer (taking pictures, researching, recording). This role switch helps to stretch out perspective on reality and to gain knowledge.
This overview includes different topics in media education, aspects of various digital devices and 4 central fields of action for the use of digital media in kindergarten. This way children learn to understand media through actively creating with media.
Make media a topic to talk about – gallery of media heroes/heroines
Photography – taking pictures with a theme
Audio – play with audio
Film – magic camera tricks
Learning goals in this session
To recognize different digital media devices.
To have an overview of different kinds of media projects you can put to practice in kindergarten.
To know which digital tools are necessary to take a photo, record audio and video material.
To find and use different apps for creative media work with tablets with children.
To practice creative media work with mobile devices and apps to build confidence.
Download the full lecture in PDF:
Safe use of digital tools in Kindergarten
Digital tools and generally media have many positive aspects. They also include risks which should be taken into account in order to provide protection for children. The following rules are recommended:
Indicate to children and their families that there are limits and rules agreed upon fort he use of media
Agreements should be negotiated at the start of using media according to age and developement of the children in question.
Adults need to explain the risks and possibilities related to new technologies as well as the internet.
A search engine specifically for children can be used for research
Switch off any cloud storage. Save data locally on the device and eventually transfer to a computer or safe server.
Mobile devices used by children should be in airplane mode/ offline as often as possible to minimize radiation, advertisement in apps as well as prevent in-App-purchases.
Adults supervise the use of digital tools by children and work in safety mode.
Adults are role models for how to use media and should be aware of that when handling media in the presence of children.
Children use digital devices accompanied by adults and at best together with other children.
Any media and apps for children are carefully chosen and app settings for installation checked. Unnecessary rights are switched off in the settings.
Technical accessibility can be applied to further limit the use of apps. (For example to momentarily allow only one app use „guided access“ in IOS and in Android „pin window“).
Mobile devices are secured with a PIN only adults know.
For mobile devices and accounts technical security settings are available to enable further restrictions and youth protection (for example screen time in iOS and Digital Wellbeing in Android).
Some practical examples show how digital educational activities can be successfully designed with children, they can be implemented in everyday teaching and in small projects. Watch the video tutorials and follow the instructions. Get some ideas for media projects with children in kindergarten.
Try out media work yourself and create new audio, photo, and video projects for children. Use a learning-diary to document your working process. Here you can find an example of a learning diary. Download the PDF.
Task 1: Ask the children to draw pictures of their media heroes. Write down the explanations. Create a gallery on the wall for sharing.
Task 2: Make 5 photos from things with a funny smile. Create a photo-collage on one page and print it out.
Task 3: Record 5 different sounds in the kindergarten or at home and create a fun audio riddle.
Task 4: Use the stop-trick to film 5 children disappear through the wall or in a big cardboard-box.
Test your knowledge about How to use media and the tutorials, e.g., media devices, different kind of media projects and creative media making with children.
Deepen your learning process and use these questions to reflect about media use and awareness. Maybe discuss these questions with co-workers and educators in kindergarten. Download the PDF with the questions.
Making media a topic to talk about
Which media heroes did I have as a child? What was special about them?
What were the media rules in your childhood? Who set them?
Which advertisements appeal to you in particular? What makes them stand out?
How confident do you feel about the legal requirements like data protection, right to one’s own image or copyright?
How do I use photography privately?
What role does photography play in our everyday educational life?
With what aim do we use photography?
When and where can I involve children in photography?
What are the rules for photography in our kindergarten?
What role does media play in my private everyday life?
What effects does film music have on my experience of a feature film?
What were my favourite stories as a child to listen to? Why?
What role do audio productions play in our everyday educational life?
When and where do we offer children the opportunity to make audio recordings themselves?
What is my TV usage behaviour like?
What is my favourite film and why?
Who / what is my TV hero? What defines him / her / it?
What impulses do I need to create a story of my own?
What does it take to start a film project with children?
For further information and more learning content use additional material, for example:
The module begins with a summary of what is co-education about and what are the main challenges related to it. You will learn more about its benefits for teachers, parents and children and receive keys to communicate with parents and stimulate a co-education dynamic in your own school. Some examples of projects of media education will certainly give you food for thought, and a proposal of a fun introductory activity around digital media will probably convince you to give it a try.
Here is a short introductory activity that will allow you to do your “self-diagnosis” of what co-education in digital media means to you. Answer the questions in your mind or print the document, it’s up to you!
To keep in touch with parents and teachers during lockdowns, la fabulerie designed DIY activities to print and play with at home. In this lecture, we will look at how they were created and we share the links to all these activities if you want to try it with your pupils!