ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary Education

ChildForum Office of Pre-Primary EducationLead advisor on early childhood care and education 
National membership 

Publisher of the New Zealand-International Research in Early Childhood Journal


Early Childhood Alert No. 11, 2018 (Technology in ECE focus)

This week we've got a special focus in the newsletter on technology as it's tech week in NZ.


  1. Matariki celebration ideas for ECE 
  2. Plane spotting
  3. Making rockets and children launching rockets
  4. Five ways to get the most out of the Internet for your teachers, educators and service
  5. Does your service have a social media policy?  How good is it?
  6. Research: Children as photographers 
  7. Research: Photostory as capacity building, research and evaluation method
  8. Choices for writing learning stories and which way is the right way
  9. Using ICT as part of children's learning - one kindergarten's story
  10. Choosing Ipads, apps, and what you need to know
  11. Our centre's journey from paper to screen
  12. Book review: Teaching Early Years Mathematics, Science and ICT 
  13. Technology warnings - 3D Movies/TVs, Eco-bulbs & Fluorescent Lighting, Mobile Phones
  14. Conference: ELF 2018, Valuing Educators - Revaluing Education.   


1. Matariki celebration ideas and tips

> Sharing this link to a great article on ideas for celebrating Matariki with children 


2.  Plane spotting

Children can have fun plane spotting, learning geography and gaining skill in ICT, see how 


3. Making rockets and children launching rockets

"The children were showing interest in aliens and space. As good teachers we embraced this interest in space with books about aliens and learning about the solar system. we created the "Rocket Blaster" as it was christened by two boys after it's first launch sent the coke bottle about 40 meters into the sky. A problem we had at this time was the tap taking about 10 times as long to be switched off, as it took to switch on, making a small muddy patch. Another problem was running out of coke bottles, as sometimes they flew over the fence."

> Go to the full article and see the great images too


4. Five ways to get the most out of the Internet for your teachers, educators and service

With billions of pages and more being added every day, the internet can be a great source of inspiration and ideas for activities to do with children or for improving your centre. It can also be a great way to communicate with staff and within teaching teams and to promote your service to parents and let families and wider whanau know what is happening.

> Here are five ways you can use the internet to help with future planning, sharing information, and promoting your service


5. Does your service have a social media policy?  How good is it?

How social media is used can have a significant influence on the reputation of an early childhood service and the safety of participants.

Social media technologies if used appropriately can become an excellent way to broaden and increase opportunities for communication as well as being a powerful marketing tool. Social media is what we call Internet based tools that allow for the publishing of information, views, pictures etc and include social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Google Plus.

When ChildForum approached several ECE services about their policies surrounding social media and staff use of social networking sites we discovered they either had no policy or had a policy that was limited to Internet use (the downloading and viewing of material primarily) and gave little or no attention to social media use. Not surprisingly then, many had experienced problems such as:

> Keep reading and learn more


6. Research: Children as photographers 

> This paper describes what happened when children in an early childhood centre in New Zealand were facilitated to document their own views and learning


7. Research: Photostory as capacity building, research and evaluation method

> A look at how the the use of photostories to document processes of change in early childhood centres can facilitate teachers' reflective practice, contribute to enhanced communication with families and agencies, and enable the co-construction of knowledge between participants and researchers 


8. Choices for writing learning stories and which way is the right way

Learning stories are still the assessment type of choice for most early childhood services and teaching professionals. The way that learning stories are written vary from service to service and, while teachers and home-educators know what they are supposed to do in learning stories, they may be left questioning, which is the right way to do it? What can be a fast and effective means of documentation for people confident in the use of technology?

 This article covers

  1. What you should include in a learning story
  2. Taking artistic license and doing it your way
  3. Standard templates
  4. E-portfolios
  5. Further information

> Learn more


9. Using ICT as part of children's learning - one kindergarten's story

The challenge of children who had a thirst for knowledge and regularly used the internet to find answers, led to a focus on ICT. "We were interested in how children shared their skills and knowledge with their peers, and how the teachers could support this through our teaching strategies. So our focus was on how we could continue to build on children’s exploration and inquiry".

> Go to the full article 


10. Choosing Ipads, apps, and what you need to know

While computers should never completely replace traditional activities like curling up with a good book or throwing sticks in the river, introducing your toddlers and pre-schoolers to computers in a controlled way can be of benefit for them.

To this end, a touch screen tablet device like an Apple iPad can be a great way to start because they are small and light which makes them easy for little hands to handle and the touch screen technology is easy to understand and intuitive to use.

> Read more below about how and when the iPad can be useful, things you need to bear in mind when choosing an iPad, and applications


11. Our centre's journey from paper to screen 

We asked companies to come and share their services, but we ended up with more questions than we started with. The bigger issues emerging concerned safety, data storage and confidentiality. We tried a range of services and platforms, including blogs and a custom-built website for our preschool.

> Read more


12. Technology warnings - 3D Movies/TVs, Eco-bulbs & Fluorescent Lighting, Mobile Phones

In some cases technology companies are warning against young children being exposed to their products. There are potential dangers for children's development and health that you need to know about - not all of which, like the use of eco-bulbs, are well publicised.

> Learn more and add your comments 


13. Book review:  Teaching Early Years Mathematics, Science and ICT 

> Teachers, here is a helpful book jam-packed with ideas for teaching maths, science and ICT to children aged about 4 to 8 years


14. Conference: ELF 2018, 8 - 9 August, Rotorua: Valuing Educators - Revaluing Education.   

Busy education leaders need time away from the urgent to focus on the important. Featured speakers include: Prof. Toby Greany, Director London Centre for Leadership in Learning, UK, Dr Mere Berryman, Univ of Waikato, Assoc. Prof. Roberta (Bobbie) Hunter, Massey University and Vaughan Rowsell, founder of Vend and OMG Tech.View ELF18 Overview,  The conference organisers are happy to offer you and your colleagues registration at the group discount rate when you register as an individual, but you must mention ChildForum in the comment box.  Registration Options 


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