Tag Archives: teachers

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 Toddlers and Tablets

Discussing Tablets vs Textbooks in GA Schools

This article will serve as an introduction to my Capstone Project for the New Media Journalism Masters Program at Full Sail University.

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New Media Journalism

2014 Roswell Roots Festival

A series of Black History Month Celebrations

The Annual Roswell Roots Festival has many events planned this year; and one most recent was the “West African Rhythms and Flavors.” This event was held in Roswell, GA at the Historic Barrington Hall on February 8, 2014 from 11:00am-3:00pm.

The event featured Chef and Author Sallie Ann Robinson the “Gullah Cooking Diva” who shared Gullah Cooking and Culture with community members inside the kitchen of Barrington Hall.

The event also featured the founder of DrumRise with Amy Jackson demonstrating the drumming techniques learned from a Guinean master drummer on the front lawn of Barrington Hall.

The 2014 West African Rhythms and Flavors was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
The 2014 West African Rhythms and Flavors was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
DrumRise technique class at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
DrumRise technique class at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Woman playing the Djembe drum leading the DrumRise technique class at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Woman playing the Djembe drum leading the DrumRise technique class at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Amy Jackson, teacher of West African drum techniques for DrumRise at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Amy Jackson, teacher of West African drum techniques for DrumRise at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Man playing base tones in DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Man playing base tones in DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Even little ones were able to play tones in DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Even little ones were able to play tones in DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Teacher, Amy Jackson showing student how to lead the DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Teacher, Amy Jackson showing student how to lead the DrumRise Session at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Local Girl Scout enjoying food prepared by Chef Sallie Ann Robinson’s Gullah Cooking & Culture Session. Held inside Barrington Hall at the West African Rhythms and Flavors in Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Local Girl Scout enjoying food prepared by Chef Sallie Ann Robinson’s Gullah Cooking & Culture Session. Held inside Barrington Hall at the West African Rhythms and Flavors in Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Local Girl Scout Troop with Chef Sallie Ann Robinson at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Local Girl Scout Troop with Chef Sallie Ann Robinson at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Chef Sallie Ann Robinson in the Kitchen at the West African Rhythms and Flavors  that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
Chef Sallie Ann Robinson in the Kitchen at the West African Rhythms and Flavors that was held at Barrington Hall in the historic district Roswell, GA on February 8, 2014. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

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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

Digital Citizenship: Protecting Digital Footprints

Digital Citizenship 

When it comes to online safety many schools in Fayetteville, Ga have come up with a Digital Citizenship Program to protect the students from potential Internet harm. Digital citizenship is defined as a way to keep kids safe while online. According to commonsense.org it teaches students to: “protect private information, respect themselves and others, stay safe online, stand up to cyber bullying when they see it happen and to balance the time they spend on these devices and other media.” Fayette Elementary School Technology Specialist, Regina Yeargin told us about how they have incorporated Digital Citizenship at their school.

 

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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.”

 

Bibliography

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

diagram-istartsmart-300

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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Toddlers and Tablets

How iPads Impact Child Development

In a world where technology is rapidly advancing many are beginning to “plug in” to the Smart Technology sooner than ever. “Technology’s impact on the 21st century family is fracturing its very foundation, and causing a disintegration of core values that long ago were the fabric that held families together”, stated Cris Rowan, contributing writer for Huffington Post.

LeapPad 2 Explorer by Leap Frog Tablet for ages 3-9. Photo Taken in Wal-Mart Shopping Center. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
LeapPad 2 Explorer by Leap Frog Tablet for ages 3-9. Photo Taken in Wal-Mart Shopping Center. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

According to pbs.org, “for school-age children, a smartphone or tablet can give them an additional learning layer, beyond the traditional classroom or book.” Fulton County Schools Kindergarten Teacher, Paula Gehring says she uses the iPad in conjunction with her normal lesson plans daily to “motivate the children.” Gehring continues by saying, “many parents park their children in front of TV, computer, Kindle/Nook/ iPad instead of interacting with the children and their social skills are suffering.” This makes it harder to get the children to “share” the devices when used for learning in the school.

Cris Rowan, Pediatric Occupational Therapist, contributing writer for Huffington Post, and Author of “Virtual Child – The terrifying truth about what technology is doing to children”, says that she “unplugged” her “son Matt when he was 12…threw out his TV, cancelled cable, tossed the Commodore 64 and Atari.” Rowan also tells other “parents that ANY exposure to technology is detrimental to cognitive, physical, mental and social development.”

InnoTab 2 Display at Wal-Mart in Fayetteville. They are marketing tablet learning to children at an early age. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden
InnoTab 2 Display at Wal-Mart in Fayetteville. They are marketing tablet learning to help with child development. Photo Credit: Amanda Golden

Movement, touch, human connection and exposure to nature are four very critical components that are “necessary to achieve healthy child development” Rowan mentions in her article. And by choosing to “unplug” her children at an early age, as adults, they both feel “technology is largely a waste of time”. When technology is involved the skills needed for a child to develop are “grossly limited”.

However, South Carolina Parent, Keenya Glover, says that her 7-year-old son’s “iPad is considered his voice.” He began using it 2 years ago and she has seen a “tremendous boost in his level of communication.” Glover goes on to say that because her son is special needs, he is not able to communicate so the program he was able to use at school at an early age “enables him to communicate at school and home.” She continues by saying that if her son had not been introduced to the iPad at an early age; he would not be as far as he is now with his communication skills.

Nyjel Glover outside in South Carolina. Photo Credit Amanda Golden
Nyjel Glover a special needs child who uses the iPad to communicate with his friends, outside in South Carolina. Photo Credit Amanda Golden

According to the Autism Spectrum Disorder Foundation, “The world for an autistic child is full of imagery, rather than words. On an iPad, an autistic child can create a sentence or even story using a series of images. By doing so, the child can communicate with parents, caretakers, and instructors without frustration. Since the iPad is mobile, children with autism can take this communication tool wherever they go.” Since the iPad is a portable device that they can take wherever they go; the autistic child will constantly “have ways to calm, focus, and learn while on-the-go.

 

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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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