The second topic of interest I would like to explore further this week is the use of ICTs in Early Years teaching and learning. There is a common misconception that there are limited options for ICTs with young children, but my exploration has shown otherwise!
A number of my fellow pre-service educators have blogged about fantastic opportunities for enhancing learning with ICTs, and their posts are well worth a read.
Emma Pails explores the use of Bee-Bot robots.
Mrs Grimshaw discusses class blogging in a Year One context
As you can already see, the options extend far beyond the use of digital cameras and Interactive Whiteboards!
I have chosen to research a piece of equipment that I hadn’t heard of before this morning, when my prac mentor told me that they had just acquired a set and didn’t really know what to do with them yet:
Basically, these are MP3 recorders/players that allow the user to record voices, sounds or music on the move. They are designed as a microphone with a built in battery and USB connector.
The technology is really just an MP3 recorder/player, so these activities could also be carried out with any voice recorder if your class doesn’t have access to Easi-Speak microphones. However, I believe the microphone design would be big hit with children, engaging them and encouraging creativity!
Taken from this website, are some of the key features and ideas for use.
- Easi-Speak lets you record directly into the microphone
- Playback remotely or download your files straight to your PC through the attached USB
- 128MB built in memory that can record up to 4 hours (high quality sound)
- Downloaded files are WAV or MP3 format
- Audacity Music Editing Software is provided as file on the Easi-Speak
- Built in battery charged through USB
- Capture audio during role play
- Take on investigative adventures outdoors
- Record audio for podcasts
- Use to support children with EAL needs
- Encourages reluctant speakers
- Ideal for oral assessment and APP
Students could add sentences to a story and pass the microphone around to hear what everyone said and add their part. This would be a great way to get students collaborating on a story and end up with something funny to share with everyone.
- Record children’s poems/speech recital for self assessment.
- Written work can be recorded and showcased on a class blog.
- Record and listen to music and sounds.
- Take them with you on EOTC to record ideas.
- Roving reporter, interviews, surveys, drama, role-play…
- Learning languages.
- Record and replay reading to self-assess fluency – could also provide evidence for Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences.
- Use as means of an alternative to written assessment – children speaking about their learning (Teachers could add to student’s digital portfolios).
I’m looking forward to using this equipment on my prac and will keep you updated on how it goes!
Before I sign out, I would also just like to share this huge list of apps that can be used in Kindergarten, compiled by Matt Gomez – it could come in very handy for early years educators 🙂