Four Tools for Awareness and Self-Worth

by Caitlin Farrell

https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/09/01/4-digital-tools-to-help-students-increase-appreciation-and-self-worth-in-any-classroom/

According to the Mindshift article written by Danny Wagner, when an individual is shown appreciation, this leads to an increased feeling of social importance. These individuals are also more likely to show their peers appreciation, similar to a “pay it forward” way of thinking. Mindshift has selected four digital tools to assist teachers and students in achieving higher self-worth and a supportive learning environment.

The first of these digital tools is “This I Believe”. This is a site which allows users to write, share and discuss beliefs and self-reflection with others. This helps students strengthen their own personal ideas. Although this website seems very positive, it wouldn’t be practical for an early childhood environment.

The second tool presented in the article is “DIY”. This site provides different do-it-yourself projects that children can complete and then share their creations online. Students can receive helpful feedback on their creations, as well as commenting on others. Openness to feedback can help students increase their sense of worth.

Mindprint Learning” is the third tool suggested which offers online assessments. These assessments measure students’ strengths and challenges. Examples include verbal reasoning or processing speeds. Teachers can review the results with their students to help them recognize their areas of strength and devise a plan to increase their weaker areas.

The final tool isSeesaw: The Learning Journal”. Seesaw is a digital portfolio which allows students to upload their drawings, pictures and other various types of work. They can then reflect on their work through a voice recording. Students are able to comment and give positive feedback on their peers’ work. Allowing the students to explain their thinking from a voice recording also helps increase self-worth since many students struggle to describe their drawings or artwork in writing.

The tools presented in the article affect young children and their families by attempting junkto improve and increase their self-worth and thus confidence in the classroom. Although these are tools described for teachers and students, they can also be used in the home.

If these sites prove successful and are used correctly, they will help create a more supportive classroom. Students will become more open to feedback and in turn give their peers helpful comments as well.

Today’s guest blogger is Caitlin Farrell

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Researchers Explain What Adults Can Do To Provide An Educational Experience With Technology

by Julie Lipshutz

https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/01/04/they-still-need-you-how-adults-help-young-kids-learn-with-technology/

This news article discussed researcher’s views on how technology should be used for toddlers. The author interviewed two researchers based on the outcome of a recent study. A study tested the different reactions two- and three-year-olds had after a human demonstrated a game verse a computer. Both the human and computer showed the children how to move and match puzzle pieces on a tablet screen. After concluding that the toddlers replicated this action better by watching the human’s instruction, the author summarizes what the researchers advise for adults to do when children use technology.

Interaction, scaffolding, and transfer learning are main strategies the researchers refer to. Since the computer demo caused confusion,computer and toddler interaction offers little support to learning.However, with an adult present during technology play, more knowledge will be retained. Learning takes place when an adult is by the child’s side as he or she uses technology. By pointing out images,identifying words, and asking questions adults are strengthening toddler’s comprehension. Additionally, by creating discussion, adults become aware of what the child needs further assistance with. The adult can then provide scaffolding techniques to advance the child’understanding of a topic. It is important for an adult to be present for this. Similar to the human and computer demonstration, social or human scaffolding is more effective than the computer. Lastly, adults should relate what the child views on the touch screen to reality; better referred to as transfer learning. Thus while the toddler develops, he or she can begin to make connections from what they see online to their world experiences. Overall, the researchers stress the importance of adult guidance, but it is understood there will be times when toddlers are alone with technology. In this case, adults should take caution in what their child is playing. Games that provide feedback to answers,repetition, and different levels are useful tools that help maintain an educational experience when the adult is absent.

The article makes it clear that if the parent is available to interact alongside their child, then they should. Therefore, this news will affect the parent and child relationship; it will bring them closer together and build learning. When children play games alone, their thoughts are not heard by another person. Conversely, when the child is attended to,their thoughts are acknowledged, bringing the two family members closer together. During this interaction they create a stronger relationship, while having a personal and friendly discussion about the game. This bonding produces a long lasting learning experience for the child. With an adult repeating questions or connecting what appears on the screen to the real world, the toddler will be better prepared for school. In return, the parent can now recognize their child’s strengths and weaknesses in learning, what they understand,junk and what needs to be further addressed. Young children can be seen playing alone with at ouch screen whether its during a meal, at the grocery store, or waiting at the doctor’s office. Primarily, this news will affect these family habits. Knowing this information about computer verse human interaction, adults will feel less willing to hand their child a phone without their assistance. Family members will have more caution to the freedom they allow toddlers to have with electronics.

Technology is constantly advancing, which means there is now a variety of applications that can be used in education. Although media advertises the educational benefits of electronic activities, not all games are developmentally appropriate. The articles discussion on types of apps and or games that offer instructive features is informative for early childhood teachers. The idea of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)constantly has teachers wondering what other tools they can use to support their students development. Many educators turn to technology for different forms of teaching. The information on what tools in apps are useful for learning will be helpful for educators when searching for resources that support UDL. Using the researcheradvice, teachers can implement this knowledge when evaluating if a product is useful to share in the classroom.

Today’s guest blogger is Julie Lipshutz

What the Science Says About How Preschool Benefits Children

by Vashti Hoyte-Smith

https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/05/03/what-the-science-says-about-how-preschool-benefits-children/

In this news article, it talks about how scientist feel as though preschool is not beneficial for our children in this generation. The scientist was trying to prove a point of why should children attend preschool when they are basically being taught the same thing in kindergarten and first grade. After doing a lot of research, they found that some preschool programs were doing the exact things as the kindergarten and first junkgrades. It talked about how poor and disadvantaged children often make the most gain from attending preschool and children who are dual-language learners benefit also from being in a preschool program. It helps them learn the language faster. Also, they were trying to figure out if pre-k should focus on the social and emotional development of the children and how pre-k programs should do a better job with reaching out to families.

This news would affect young children and their families because I feel as though going to preschool is such an advantage because they children are learning how to read, write, solve math problems just learning the basics is such an important thing. Just because the scientist believes that this program should be cut because they are learning the same exact thing when they go into kindergarten and 1st grade. That is not parents fault because they are sending their children to preschool to learn. This has such an impact for the families because they send their children to preschool so they can get in a habit of learning how it operates and learning the foundations.

This will influence Early Childhood Education because the scientist are trying to cut out this program. This program is important for the children because it is giving them the foundation of what they will be learning when entering kindergarten or 1st grade. As an Early Childhood major, I feel as though it is not the preschool fault of what the child is going to learn once they enter elementary school. The teachers should see if the children already master the skills and then find something more challenging for the children to do or teach them something new. I say that they should keep this program because all children, no matter where you come from, benefit from this.

Today’s guest blogger is Vashti Hoyte-Smith

Read the study: duke_prekstudy_final_4-4-17_hires

 

 

 

 

 

Four digital tools

Four digital tools to help students practice integrity and practice technology use in and outside of the classroom

by Ms. Davis

https://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift/2017/04/21/four-digital-tools-to-help-students-practice-integrity/

The article by MindShift came out with four different tools that can help students promote honesty when in the classroom. The apps that I decided were the best for early childhood users were the Remind app, and the Now Comment app. These two apps deal with integrity of children, but also help children in working with technology in new and creative ways. The Now Comment app provides students to be able to give feedback on certain materials that the teacher provides, feedback on other student’s work, and group junkdiscussions about what was learned in class that day. The Remind app helps parents stay involved in the child’s school work or assignments, where they can sign up to get messages of assignments that are due each day. I think the Remind App is most helpful for students who may be forgetful or who do not want to do homework. The app can help them stay up to date with assignments by their parents receiving information on their assignments each day. It not only helps children stay up to date with school work, but it help parents stay involved in the child’s academic abilities which will benefit if the student may be struggling or need extra help. My favorite app on the site was the StopBullying app, which I think,would be more suitable for older children, but in an early childhood setting they can still be introduced to bullying by other children in different ways. The app lets you anonymously report bullying or harsh words that another child is saying to the school provider. I think this is a great way to help children who may be afraid to come forward about an issue that is happening at school.

These new ways to provide integrity of children in the classroom can help greatly with families, especially the“Remind” app because it helps families stay connected to what their children are working on in school. I was a nanny for two elementary school children for a year and a half and the number of times they forgot to write down homework assignments, left textbooks at school, or forget their homework folders was more than I could count. If their parents were able to have an app like this that can remind students what their homework for the night is, and have an uploaded copy of the worksheet, I think it could help greatly for children who accidentally forget their homework, or children who miss school so they will not fall behind. This also allows children to be honest with their parents by being able to tell them the exact homework they have for that night.

Early childhood students will start to be introduced to technology a lot more in this generation than in previous years. Technology is growing at a fast rate, and introducing children, even as young as kindergarten, to new types of educational apps and resources can benefit them in the future. If children are exposed to technology through the use of Ipads or computers they can use some of these apps in order to help them provide feedback to others, and also help provide feedback to teachers as well. They can also stay up to date with homework assignments they may have forgotten to write down, or have forgotten at home. I think these apps also help young children get used to experimenting with use of computers by being able to type about certain opinions that they may have about new materials brought up in class.

Today’s guest blogger is Ms. Davis

“I have been working with children ever since I was 16 years old, working in preschools, as a nanny for families with special needs children, and at summer camps. I really enjoy finding resources and new technology that can help teachers implement material in new and creative ways. I am a big advocate for incorporating UDL into classrooms as well, and I hope I can provide you with many useful resources.”

Wooden toy that teaches toddlers the basics of coding.

by Jaclyn Soldinger

www.nytimes.com/2017/04/05/business/smallbusiness/stem-education-technology-engineering-coding-toys

This wooden toy teaches toddlers how to code in a way that they think that they are playing a game. It is made of entirely of wood and it moves around based on the code that the child created. The sole purpose of this toy is to teach young children how to code without looking at screen. This is extremely innovative since most coding programs for children require them to look at a screen.

This will affect young children because they will be comfortable with the concept of cubettocoding at a young age. This is something to consider since coding may become a part of the curriculum in an elementary school. This would affect families because this toy robot costs a ton of money. It is in the $200 range. Therefore, I could see parents wanting to donate money to a school towards the toy rather than buy one for home since the schools may be able to keep it safer.

This will influence Early childhood education because the educator should incorporate this toy in the pre-kindergarten classroom to teach their students about coding without a screen. This would be effective for this especially, since many schools are using computers in elementary schools so it would be a useful skill. However, it costs a lot of money therefore, it is not ideal for a pre-kindergarten classroom because children could break it unless the school has a safe place to store the toy.

Today’s guest blogger is Jaclyn Soldinger

Early Childhood Education major who is interested in English Language Learning and Special Education.

The Future of Preschool

by Katie Kojan

http://www.educationdive.com/news/indiana-weighs-virtual-preschool-program/440139/

The article is about how legislators in Indiana are considering an investment in early education software that would be free to families in the state. The software is dedicated to kindergarten prep that uses technology to ensure free access to early childhood education to every student in the state.

This software would be a huge benefit for low-income families who can’t afford preschool. It will give students ahead start right before entering kindergarten. This software can eliminate the achievement gap between students who went to preschool and those who didn’t.junk

If this investment is fulfilled and is successful it will be a huge step forward in terms of early childhood education. If this were to be implemented in every state children coming into kindergarten will be entering close to the same education level. Preschool is currently a privilege for children as they have an advantage when they come into kindergarten. This software can boost a child’s cognitive development before they enter grade school.

Today’s guest blogger is Katie Kojan

I’m in my third year at Towson University pursuing Early Childhood Education.”

 

Make STEM Social to Motivate Preschoolers

by Victoria Mosley

http://www.naeyc.org/blogs/make-stem-social

This news article discussed the importance of STEM activities for young students. There was a description of a case study of two sets of preschoolers who work on two different STEM activities in different environments. One group was told to work independently and the other was assigned to a  color group and were placed in a social environment. The students were observed while doing the math and puzzle activity. They concluded that the students who were socializing during the activity developed a better understanding and were more interested in this STEM assignment. The article also gave some tips for teachers to use when encouraging STEM use. Teachers should use social language when talking about STEM activities. For example,teachers should use words such as “us”, “together”, and“group” to make all the students feel equal and confident int heir learning. Overall, this article explains the importance of early STEM use in a classroom.

This news, hopefully, will positively affect young children and their families. It gives information about the importance of early STEM learning through social interactions. Families can work on these types of activities at home so the student can become fluent in STEM. This article also discusses the stereotypes of STEM such as the idea that boys are better at STEM than IMG_9351girls are. Then the article states ways to ignore the stereotype and negative opinions by using social language. If parents and teachers use this social language it can help students feel confident in their work and confident in STEM.

This article will influence Early Childhood Education greatly. The more teachers and caregivers expose STEM to young children, the better the child will understand these categories. This article and others related to STEM could create a huge impact on education. For example, in the future classroom there could be a block of time during the day for students to work on STEM work. This should be implemented in young grades as well as older grades. If STEM does eventually receive its own block for younger students, it will give them a great amount of time to work at this area and become fluent as they advance by grade.

Today’s guest blogger is Victoria Mosley