Tag Archives: Digital Technology

New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Your Thoughts on Digital Learning in Early Education

Children utilizing a digital device in the classroom at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Children utilizing a digital device in a 2nd Grade classroom at Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, GA. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

In response to the video and audio sample done in a previously written article, Profile: Educators Leading the Path to the Digital Future I did not receive too many responses. In fact, the one response I received was from one of the educators that I interviewed.  Going forward, to improve upon the amount of response I receive on video clips I produce, I will ask harder questions. The questions that I ask in the future will evoke a response from readers; whether it be a “hot topic” that parents may have very different views on or by using a broader topic with more in depth answers.

Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden
Pre-K Student using tablet at Nolan Elementary School. Photo credit: Amanda Golden

As a result of the surveys and polls conducted last week, I received 8 responses total.  As shown in the survey summary, there were several parents whose child attended a school with a Bring Your Own Device Program in place. Of these parents, many of them purchased their child a digital device between the ages of 3 to 5. It also was concluded almost unanimously that many parents see the use of digital technology continuing to grow over the next few years especially in regards to the school system.

During the previous week of the Social Media and Online Community Engagement Class I also published a discussion post to Reddit. This discussion titled “Digital Learning in GA Early Learning Schools: Good or Bad” yielded 25 Reddit “up-votes” and 5 very thought provoking responses.

I will share the response from one Reddit user: /r/jesusapproves below because this users’ comment accurately sums up what a lot of parents (that responded to the post) feel about the good and bad of digital learning.

Screen Capture of a comment from a reddit user in response to my discussion post in the subreddit of Praenting. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Screen Capture of a comment from a Reddit user in response to my discussion post in the sub-reddit of Parenting. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

This response, in my opinion, pulls together the other points that parents gave on this discussion after his response.

Some of the major points that I took away from his response are:

* There are many advantages as well as disadvantages as to why one would want digital learning to be (or not be) involved in the educational system.

*   We are still living in a time where not everyone can afford to purchase these devices for their child; so in the event that schools do not provide a class set it would allow more chance for issues to arise.

*   There is still a need for the actual teacher to lecture in a traditional method as well as allow time for the use of devices in learning new concepts.

Overall, I would say that my audience responses were very informative. The responses allowed to me hear viewpoints that I had not considered. Some of the comments from the Reddit post even provided me with articles to use as a resource for further research. I would also like to thank the people who have responded to my articles, surveys and discussion posts for helping me gather data for further research on my Capstone Topic.

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New Media Journalism Technology

Profile: Educators Leading the Path to the Digital Future

Connie D. Perkins is currently a first grade teacher in Fayette County Schools and has been teaching for over 26 years. Perkins has a Reading Specialist Degree that has allowed her to teach one-on-one reading with students who needed the help. She also taught Early Intervention Program (EIP) curriculum for reading two years, and Perkins mentioned that she “has worked a lot with children who struggle in reading.”

With the many years of teaching experience in early education, Perkins stated that she has seen a major difference in the way that children grasp reading and math skills over the years. She remembers when they would use flash cards to learn new concepts and how it would take weeks for them to master the concepts, and now those same skills when applied from the iPad or the computer are learned “just like that,” she continued. Perkins stated that the children “love iPads in their classroom!” She utilizes the iPad to introduce and reinforce the lessons they will be doing throughout the week. “The children now have access to the reading book and all the skills we do in class. They can go home and do it online,” says Perkins. “They think it’s a big deal to be able to go ahead of us or read extra books related to the class lessons while at home.”

Perkins finished by saying that she could see the schools “doing away with textbooks and going digital someday,” believing that students will think “outside the box when manipulating tools on digital technology.”

1st Grade Teacher Discusses Digital Technology from Amanda Golden on Vimeo.

 

Heather Cox has been a fourth grade teacher and leader of technology in Fulton County Schools for the past 10 years. Upon gaining employment with Fulton Schools, Cox said that she became a “leadership member and any other kind of committee member that had anything to do with technology.” This included the Inaugural Technology Leadership Forum for Fulton County Schools where she helped to launch the Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) Pilot Program in her school. Though she initially met resistance, she eventually helped everyone to understand what the program was really about.

Cox stated that last year while on her professional Twitter page, she saw an article that was linked to the nomination form for the White House Champions of Change Program for ConnectEd Leaders. After she read over the description, she sent an email to her students’ parents to see if they would nominate her. To her surprise, Cox heard back from the White House a few months later saying that she had “like 20 nominations,” so they wanted to get a little more information about her. From there, Cox was chosen to be 1 of the 10 people who would be honored as a ConnectEd Leader in the White House Champions of Change Program. Cox said that it was incredible to go and get to meet other ConnectEd Educators and it happened “all through the power of Twitter.”

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

iStartSmart Tablets Add New Learning Suite For iPad

Photo Credit: Hatch: The Early Learning Experts
Photo Credit: Hatch: The Early Learning Experts

Hatch: The Early Learning Experts has recently launched the newest addition to the iStartSmart Tablets, the iPad Learning Suite. Hatch is said to have broadened the horizons on how children are able to learn in the 21st century classroom.

These are students at Love T. Nolan Elementary School who are using the iStartSmart Tablet in a small group. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
These are students at Love T. Nolan Elementary School who are using the iStartSmart Tablet in a small group. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

The iStartSmart iPad Learning Suite is available in the Apple Store for free and includes all of the popular “Shell Squad Games” that teachers currently utilize in classrooms around the world.

In a previous article entitled “How iStartSmart Tablets Help Child Development,” you were told about the iStartSmart Tablet. This tablet, according to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts, “is the learning tablet that fascinates and engages” and is now a learning system that can be downloaded to a device other than the Hatch Tablets to help more students improve in the classroom.

Teacher assisting a child with the iStartSmart Tablet.  Photo Credit: Hatch: The Early Learning Experts
Teacher assisting a child with the iStartSmart Tablet.
Photo Credit: Hatch: The Early Learning Experts

Keenya Glover, a parent of a special-needs student in first grade says, “I think it’s a necessity! Due to the technology evolving at a rapid rate, children need to get ahead of the game.” With this program, children are taught the skills needed to prepare them for the next level.  Glover continued by saying, “using digital technology ASAP enhances the brain” so when her son began using the program at age three, she was very encouraged at the rate of his educational advancement.

The iStartSmart iPad Learning Suite still contains the same features as mentioned in my previous article; however, it is reported only available on the “Apple iPad Generation 2 or later.”  This makes it easier on many schools who have already integrated the iPad into their schools to incorporate Hatch Technology.

This is a child holding the iPad on the main student screen. Photo Credit: Hatch: The Early Learning Experts
This is a child holding the iPad on the main student screen. Photo Credit: Hatch: The Early Learning Experts

Hatch’s article followed up by saying that before the system rewards the child with more advanced activities, it wants to make sure that the skill has been demonstrated correctly. This is what separates the iStartSmart Learning System from other educational applications on digital devices. The program is designed so that “if a child struggles with an activity, the system will automatically intervene to help them move forward, or to refocus them on other skill levels necessary to master increasingly difficult concepts.”

These are the main characters of The Shell Squad Games  Photo Credit: Hatch: The Early Learning Experts
These are the main characters of The Shell Squad Games
Photo Credit: Hatch: The Early Learning Experts

 

 

 

Let’s meet the stars of this award-winning educational learning suite: Cami the Cameleon, Henry the Duck, and Platty the Platypus. According to the Hatch website, these characters “guide the child-directed play.” The characters guide the children on many adventures to enhance the typical lesson taught in the classroom. 

Original Infographic created by: Amanda Golden  Information was gathered from research by Hatch: The Early Learning Experts
Original Infographic created by: Amanda Golden
Information was gathered from research by Hatch: The Early Learning Experts

 

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