Tag Archives: learning

New Media Journalism Technology

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT)

BYOT with 2nd Grade at Fayette Elementary School from Amanda Golden on Vimeo.

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is a program that is taking education to the next level. This program allows students to bring their own devices to school to use as a part of their educational journey. Fayette Elementary School in Fayetteville, Georgia has just officially launched the BYOT Program this past Monday, November 11, 2013. So, the technology specialist Regina Yeargin has her hands full going around to all of the classrooms to ensure they have the understanding needed before bringing their device to school. For example, students must fill out a form with their parents for permission to use the devices at school. But the next step is crucial for those who will eventually bring their own device to school. They must have their parents go to the school website to "register"the device by serial number and type. The final step is on the teacher; teachers must give the students the final word on when they can bring the device into the classroom. This multimedia story shows a quick lesson in BYOT with a 2nd grade class on what to and not to do with their devices.

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New Media Journalism Toddlers and Tablets

Digital Learning to Improve Early Education

Love T. Nolan Elementary School is located in South Fulton County (College Park, GA). Majority of the students come from low-income families and have not had the same advantage to technology (pre-entering school) that other children may have had. Hatch Technology Services in their background research showed that “Compared to their middle-income peers, young low-income children display poorer language/literacy and mathematics skills, putting them at high risk for school failure.” So by putting programs that scaffold learning into these schools one can possibly help them to beat the odds.

students at LTN MARCH 2013
Infographic created by: Amanda Golden

Love T. Nolan has approximately 300 students in grade PK-2ND grade according to the March 2013 FTE numbers. Fulton County Schools Tech Specialist, Carl Golden, “feel[s] that introducing students to technology at an early age is very beneficial to their educational growth and development.”

In the school there are 42 classrooms, continues Golden, “including art, music, and P.E. use digital technology during instruction.” Of these 42 there are 6 that we will focus on. There are 6 teachers who are utilizing the Hatch Technology Tablets in their classroom at Love T. Nolan all in the Pre- Kindergarten arena. Golden stated that of these teachers “One class has 4 students; 1 class has 10 students; the remaining classes have at least 15 students but all students are exposed to the Hatch Tablet for learning.”  These tablets are said to have significant success in improving the readiness for the student to go to the next grade level according to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts.

Infographic Created by: Amanda Golden
Infographic Created by: Amanda Golden

Nolan Elementary School Pre-Kindergarten Teacher, Alicia Prather uses the Hatch tablet in her classroom for literacy.  Prather says, “Letter recognition and phonic recognition are the types of activities that are used most often” in her classroom. The students seem to enjoy the tablet use and she has seen “some growth” in many of her students though she cannot be “to positive that the growth is contributed to the use of the tablet or other techniques used in class.” This is true of many teachers using the product. Hatch: The Early Learning Experts founder, Ginny Norton explained that the tablets are “not talking about having technology replace the teacher” they (teachers) are to “consistently incorporate them into the daily routine to impact school readiness.” So it is together with the techniques used already in the classroom that technology is “appropriately used” to enhance school readiness in students.

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 written in the School Systems Strategic Plan 2017  their community has “clearly demonstrated their demand and desire for more integration of technology through the renewal of  [their] sales tax for capital improvements, which will be heavily invested in technology.” These projections have been made true to reflect the Fulton County School System FY2014 Budget , there will be $100,000.00 in the budget to fund “computers and iPad’s for new staff for all Learning and Teaching Offices. There will be an additional $250,000.00 in the Instructional Media Technology Category of the budget to “To provide district level electronic books, available for use by all students, teachers and parents (K-12). These Electronic books will support Common Core Georgia Performance Standards (CCGPS).”

As a result of an increased budget for Integrating Technology into their school system they are ensuring that their teacher, parents and students will have “the tools and information necessary to accelerate learning.”

However, there are other programs that are not as lucky. In an article published by the Harvard International Review (B. PELHAM, 2009) “the assumption that wealthy countries tend to have better education systems than poorer countries is correct.” Not everyone has access to computers and tablet devices unless a sponsoring program steps in. The article shows “evidence indicates that the level of computer propagation in a country is strongly associated with its students’ scores” on standardized test a lot like the ones in the states.  There is a program called One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) that helped students in Abuja, Nigeria to advance educationally.  They also help other countries that are in lower wealth states to advance. Advocates of the OLPC Program suggest, “computers are powerf[ul] learning tools, bringing information to students’ fingertips and allowing them to interact with it and synthesize it in ways that would be impossible otherwise.”

According to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts Study on the iStartSmart Learning System, “Preliminary results of a scientific research study on the iStartSmart software showed children had significant gains on standardized tests in comparison to control group children who had not used iStartSmart software.”



B. PELHAM, S. C. (2009, July 01). Technology and Education: The Power of the Personal Computer. Harvard International Review , 74-76.


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New Media Journalism Toddlers and Tablets

How iStartSmart Tablets Help Child Development

iStartSmart Tablets 

According to Hatch: The Early Learning Experts, the “iStartSmart Mobile is the learning tablets that fascinates and engages” children as they learn throughout the day based on research proven applications and software that monitor the progress as they go. If a student is struggling with a concept, the program allows for the teacher to go in and “refocus” by using the Progress Monitoring Reports incorporated into the system for more efficient learning.

Research shows that the iStartSmart program was created to help aid the key components that “promote positive experiences and school readiness.” Among these components are:

  1. Child Development
  2. Effective Early Childhood Education Practices

  3. Critical Content for School Readiness
  4. Developmentally Appropriate Educational Technology


One of the most innovative things about the iStartSmart Learning System (app suite and the tablet) “is that teachers can monitor the progress of each student in real time!” The progress monitoring of the iStartSmart System allows for teachers to take “snapshots of a child’s progress throughout the year”, exclaimed Brent. Instead of teachers having to remember which child did what at the end of the day the “unbiased data” from the program is right there to show when needed.

Hatch: Early Learning Experts concluded that, “for technology to be meaningful in early education, it must provide opportunities for children to gain the essential skills that prepare them for school.”

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New Media Journalism Toddlers and Tablets

Children and Smart Technology: The Way of the Future

  6-year-old student using technology to learn letters. Photo By: Amanda Golden

6-year-old student using technology to learn letters. Photo By: Amanda Golden

The question isn’t whether technology is the way of the future, but *what* technology will best serve us; and least harm us – Matt Peckham, writer for Time.com

Peckham states in his article, “the jury on tablet and smartphone use by young children was out 1½ years ago; it’s still out in early 2013, the consensus currently being that these devices work best when they’re employed as complementary to parental interaction, say, as conversation starters (as opposed to conversation enders, or simply babysitters).” According to his article this has become a concern for many parents both new and seasoned over the past few years.

Many schools (and even daycares) around the world have begun to incorporate technology in some way or another into their daily instructional time to help better serve children. The most popular technological device added being the iPad. Teachers have used them to teach patterns, letters and even mathematics to their students; and children as young as 18 months old have even been observed using these devices to their advantage.

Peckham mentioned that the use of Smart technology “probably doesn’t matter in the very early years, when the most important thing for the still-developing child brain is coming to grips with reality itself.” But he and his family have been having conversations about school systems integrating technology earlier and earlier in the lessons and he says, “in short, I feel good about any school system that implements research-supported technological tools.”

Sample Math App for Kids on the iPad. Photo by: Amanda Golden
Sample Math App for Kids on the iPad. Photo by: Amanda Golden

Fulton County Schools Kindergarten teacher, Michaela Boggs, states that even though they do use Smart Devices in her classroom that, “they need to have a teacher teaching them still, an iPad should never replace a teacher in the classroom.” Boggs allows her kindergarten students to use the iPad “at stations, for listening in reading, or for counting or using strategies in math. They love it and they truly learn from USING a skill, rather than just hearing about it.” The students seem  “to catch on quickly while using technology!” exclaims Boggs.

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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Children are Obsessed with Technology at an early age Worldwide


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New Media Journalism Technology Toddlers and Tablets

Technology-Infused or Technology-Abused

Technology-Infused Teaching or Technology-Abused Teaching:

A Look at the iPad and Computers Educating Our Children

By: Amanda M. Golden

When it comes to technology we have definitely advanced from the first clunky desktop computer we had. Technology has been on the rise in this century and is not slowing down anytime soon. Companies have upgraded computers, purchased tablets for employees and enrolled them into instructional technology courses. The schools have incorporated it into their daily learning style calling it “Bring your own Technology.” Digital learning is taking over our school systems; on one hand this is good because the older children are gaining valuable life skills to take to the real world, but on the other hand it is stinting the ability of our children to develop proper social skills. Especially in our babies, children as young as 19 months have grasped the concept of swiping a touch screen quicker than learning to walk speak or eat on their own. In daycares across the world teachers are teaching them on tablets and other advanced technology; or are they letting them play on the tablets so that they [the teacher] can rest. According to Hatch Early Learning, “For technology to be meaningful in early education, it must provide opportunities for children to gain the essential skills that prepare them for school.” (Hatch Early Learning , 2013) This is a true statement, however to help children gain these skills needed for school one must interact with the child throughout their exploration of the technology.  One must help them to not only develop physical skills but social and cognitive skills as well.

Many childcare centers and schools are beginning to update the way they teach our children and use this technology infused learning to do it. But without adequate lessons in these “new” technological devices, as the teacher, it is feared that the original lessons they have learned while attaining their teaching degree will disappear as they become more comfortable using technology. The fear is that technology may one day teach our children not the teachers. Therein lies the issue of if the use of the iPad (and other tablets) in the classroom will allow teachers to let children learn entirely on their own as they surf the web on the other side of the room.

Technology can be one of the best ways to teach young minds or it can be one of the worst but it is still up to us. As parents and community members we need to constantly interact with our children AND their tablets. There is nothing we can do about how technology steadily advances but we can steer it in the right direction with our children. As teachers, by not letting the fact that the children know more about the product than we do, we must remember our roots and incorporate it into the way they are learning now. We must use technology, like the iPad, to enhance the education we received to be able to show them how to succeed in the real world!

Hatch Early Learning Center. (2013). iStartSmart Efficacy. Retrieved 07 31, 2013, from Hatch Early Learning : http://hatchearlylearning.com/research/observational-studies/iss-aio-efficacy/


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