Using ICT to scaffoldLiteracy Learning in the Early Childhood Setting Technology is an integral aspect of the 21st century world in which we live and as a result, the use of Information and communication technology cannot be disregarded by early childhood educators.
Campbell, A., & Scotellaro, G. (2009). Learning with technologyfor pre-service early childhood teachers. Australasian Journal ofEarly Childhood, 34(2), 11-18. Retrieved fromhttp://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/australian_journal_of_early_childhood/ajec_index_abstracts/learning_with_technology_for_pre_service_early_childhood_teachers.html Campbell and Scotellaro argue that if educators are to provide individualised learning and prepare students for an ever-changing “technological society” they need to see the potential of available ICTs. The article reveals that some educators still need convincing that this “quality education” is just as important as the “traditional beliefs”. The University of Canberra’s intensive learning program demonstrates that pre-service teachers are confident about integrating and utilising ICTs within early childhood contexts after they have been exposed to the endless possibilities. Campbell and Scotellaro suggest numerous ways to incorporate ICTs to benefit individualised and whole class learning.
Hansen, C. (2008). Intergrating technology in earlychildhood literacy instruction. In A. Waddell, & R. McBride (Eds.), New research on early childhood education (pp. 83-113). New York: Nova Science Publishers Inc. Retrieved fromhttp://books.google.com.au/books?id=ZyfqwUQwxO0C&pg=PA83&dq=Technology++literacy++early+childhood&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Pz9oT9RnxsmZBZf32P4I&ved=0CD4Q6AEwAQ #v=onepage&q=Technology%20%20literacy%20%20early%20childhood&f=false Hansen’s article reveals the high emphasis and importance that they place on the need for professional development. He argue s that it is crucial in order to allow educators to utilise ICTs to their maximum potential to develop and support the literacy skills for early childhood learners. The reveal research that shows the influences that ICTs have on young learners far outweighs more traditional materials. Conversely, the article discloses difficulties that were encountered when implementing changes in classrooms with exemplary teachers that are apprehensive to technology. In addition, ICTs are being implemented within early childhood classrooms
Hansen, C. C. (2008). Observing technology enhanced literacy learning. Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 8(2). Retrieved from:http://www.citejournal.org/vol8/iss2/languagearts/article1.cfm Hansen’s article commends the vast advantages of incorporating technology within literacy learning such as an increase in literacy comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, andachievement in the early years. Research highlights that the need for teachers to build students enthusiasm is minimalwhen integrating technology to enhance literacy development.Contrary to these benefits, Hansen comments that educatorsmay jeopardise the learning potential due to lack of expertise and understanding of the technological resources if ongoing quality professional development is not maintained. In addition, educators who fail to up-skill risk job opportunities and career advancement to educators which possess proficient technological knowledge and understandings.
Liang, P., & Johnson, J. (1999). Using technology to enhance early literacy through play. In J.Blanchard (Eds.), Educational Computing in the Schools: Technology, Communication, and Literacy(pp.55-62). New York: The Haworth Press Inc. Retrieved fromhttp://books.google.com.au/books?id=AiFdNkTOgU0C&pg=PA55&dq=Technology++literacy++early+childhood&hl=en&sa=X&ei=MkVoT7erFoaOmQX5loz_CA&ved=0CGYQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=Technology%20%20literacy%20%20early%20childhood&f=false Liang and Johnson share the advantages of using ICTs to facilitate children’s emerging literacy skills which begins with improved spelling, story writing skills and letter recognition. They share the enhancements that ICTs can have on children’s motivation levels within a classroom setting. However, Liang and Johnston express apprehension that children may not reach their full potential if they are not able to utilise the advantages of ICTs alongside their learning. The article also raises concerns and misconceptions that exist around ICT based learning such as a teacher confusing a student’s knowledge and understandings with a child’s efficiency to operate ICTs.
Ljungdahl, L. (2010). Multiliteracies and Technology. In G.Winch, R. Johnston, P. March and M. Holiday (Eds),Literacy: Reading, Writing and Childrens Literature (pp.399-422). Australia: Oxford. Ljungdahl chapter emphasises the benefits of utilising ICTs in literacy teaching as tools to provide exceptional teaching and learning experiences for all students. The chapter provides an insight into the features and potential of ICTs thatwould be extremely beneficial within aclassroom setting. As well as providing the positives that ICTs have on the teaching and learning sequence, thechapter reveals the negative effects. In addition, the authors affirm that the use of ICTs within a learning environment should not substitute student and teacher interactions.
Makin, L. (2003). Creating positive literacylearning environments in early childhood. InN. Hall, J. Larson & J. Marsh (Eds.),Handbook of early childhood literacy(pp.327-335).London: Sage Publications.Retrieved fromhttp://books.google.com.au/books?id=LsbCuGjUpDAC&printsec=frontcover&dq=Handbook+of+early+childhood+literacy&hl=en&sa=X&ei=R09oT4K-F9CMmQWQvvmZCQ&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Handbook%20of%20early%20childhood%20literacy&f=false Makin discusses the absence of ICTs across many early childhood settings and the necessity of integrating additional technological resources. The article states that further resources would enable more hands on interactions with ICTs through play based learning rather than being specifically used for skill and drill games. Moreover, the use of ICTs within an early childhood classroom not only has positive effects on the social environment but provides children with realistic reflections of the technologies that they will encounter throughout their everyday
New South Wales Department of Education and Training. (2010). Literacy learning and technology curriculum K-12. Retrieved fromhttp://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/literacy/assets/ pdf/packages/tech_lit_learn.pdf This article highlights the vast changes of the 21st century andhow they are redefining literacy. The department unveils the look and feel of learning environments; the role of teachers and learners and the transformation of what and how students learn.The author states that in order to maximise learning and establish quality literacy opportunities students need to be taught how toutilise ICTs to their full capacity. The article goes on to disclose the importance placed upon all educators to ensure that their students leave school as confident, creative and productive users of technology.
Newhouse, P. (2002). A Framework to Articulate the Impact of ICT on Learning in Schools. [Review of The IMPACT of ICT on LEARNING and TEACHING, for the Western Australian Department of Education. ] Retrieved from http://www.det.wa.edu.au/education/cmis/eval/d ownloads/pd/impactreview.pdf Newhouse discusses the vast range of impacts that ICTs can have on the learning environment from encouraging investigation and knowledge building to establishing collaborative, cooperativeand active learning. Moreover, he highlights the positive impacts that ICTs place on students learning through engaging,motivating and challenging learners by means of providing tools to increase productivity. Newhouse reiterates that although ICTsprovide endless possibilities within the classroom, it is imperative for the educators to create high-quality learning experiences, cater for individual needs and allow students to take responsibility for their learning.
Oakley, G. (2011). Preservice teachers creating digital storybook for use inearly childhood classrooms. Retrieved fromhttp://uwa.academia.edu/GraceOakley/Papers/1479474/PRESERVICE_TEACHERS_CREATING_DIGITAL_STORYBOOK_FOR_USE_IN_EARLY_CHILDHOOD_CLASSROOMS Oakley’s article discusses the positive effects that ICTs have on young learners of literacy. She reveals that digital story books are not only motivational, they also assist students comprehension, sight words and directionality. The article and study was informed by Mishra and Kohhler’s (2011) TPACK model (the relationship between technological, pedagogical and content knowledge). However, Oakley suggests that the model fails to take into account students’ knowledge. She argues that even after supporting research has expressed the great benefits of utilising ICTs within classrooms settings, there seems to be a lack of implementation into schools due to poor training and high lack of funding.
Zevenbergen, R., & Logan, H., (2008). Computer use by preschool children:Rethinking practice as digital natives come to preschool. Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 33(1), 37-44. Retrieved from:http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/australian_journal_of_early_childhood/aje c_index_abstracts/computer_use_by_preschool_children.html Zevenbergen and Logan outline the importance of computers in early childhood settings to provide learning opportunities that enhance children’s readiness for school. The title highlights that many preschool children have considerable experience with computers outside the preschool setting. They argue that by including computers into the curriculum the digital divide that exists for those children without access to computers will be a minority. It is suggested that by withdrawing children from valuable opportunities to participate in technological experiences child-centred learning is not taking place. However, Zevenbergen and Logan further commented that funding such
Overview / SynthesisTechnology is an integral aspect of the 21st century world in which we live and as a result, the use of ICTs cannot be disregarded byearly childhood educators. Campbell and Scotellaro’s (2009) article brings to light the fact that many educators still need convincing that “quality education” is just as important as the “traditionalbeliefs” of teaching and learning. The ten articles selected for thisassessment task, deliberate the advantages of utilising ICTs within an early childhood setting to maximise literacy learning. In addition, the articles reflect the common detriments,misconceptions and apprehensiveness of early childhood educators. Computers and other forms of ICTs are increasingly emerging in early childhood settings across the country. Consequently, many questions are being raised regarding the importance and most effective pedagogical uses of ICTs to maximise students learningand more specifically the potential to increase and enhance learning literacy.
The articles highlight relevant teaching and learning approaches tobe considered when planning for 21st century teaching and learning. In addition, links to the coursework and multiliteracies framework strategies are clearly evident through the use of ICTS andproviding students with interactive and engaging ways to undertake literacy learning. Newhouse (2002), Oakley (2011) and Liang &Johnson (1999) make known the advantages of utilising ICTs within the classroom as a form of student engagement and motivation. The authors discuss the vast positive learning opportunities andexperiences that can be achieved through the means of integrating the use of ICTs for literacy teaching and learning within early childhood settings.
Collectively, this literature recognises the benefits of incorporating ICTs within the early childhood context to developliteracy skills amongst learners. The use of ICTs in early childhood literacy learning not only encourages investigation and knowledge building but can be a means of establishing collaborative, cooperative and active learning (Newhouse, 2002). Blanton, Moorman, Hayes, and Warner (1997, as cited in Hansen, 2008) found that children loved working with computers and actually socialized, talked, planned, and collaborated more around computers than around other traditional play materials. Makin(2003) argues that educators need to establish an effective means of integrating the use of ICTs to complement and enrich fundamental play-based learning opportunities in early childhoodsettings. Furthering on this, educators need to ensure that the use of computers enhances, not replaces the important roles of teacher and child interaction (Ljungdahl, 2010).
Concerns which were conveyed throughout the course regarding teachers being incompetent in the use of ICTs for learning and learning were also a mutual concern which consistently arose throughout numerous readings (Hansen, 2008; Newhouse, 2002; Liang & Johnson, 1999; Zevenbergen & Logan 2008). In this 21stcentury, technological advancing world, it is worth noting that many early childhood students are more content and able to access andutilise ICTs than their parents and educators .There is an absenceof professional knowledge and understanding as well as inadequateprofessional development targeted at improving and enhancing theICT knowledge of educators. Hansen (2008), Oakley (2011) and theNew South Wales Department of Education and Training (2010) all advocate that high importance should be placed upon up-skilling educators to ensure that they are able to effectively utilise ICTs to enhance literacy learning.
ICT REFLECTION The integration and advancement of classroom technologies has always been of highinterest to me. In completing this assessment task, I set myself the goal of being able to develop a stimulating and thought-provoking PowerPoint slideshow that is able to be uploaded and accessed online. I envisioned that I would utilise a variety of features and formatting tools in order to ensure that the presentation was engaging. Majority of my ICT knowledge, understandings and skills, largely being self-taught havebeen grounded in and based upon personal hobbies. Through tackling the challenging roleof completing USQ’s Bachelor of Early Childhood online, my ICT learning curve has beencontinuous and progressive. I have seized every opportunity to participate in and further develop and enhance my ICT skills. My aspiration for this assessment was to embark on a level of my ICT journey, a level which ensured further development and continuation of the skills that I already possess. As I was already aware of and am able to utilise the most basic functions offered across Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel, I took this opportunity to experiment with and advance my Microsoft PowerPoint skills.I found that my time management at the beginning of the PowerPoint presentation were quite distressing. However, as I became more confident with the features and formatting tools available I was able to get back on track towards the end of the presentation. An additional barrier that I encountered through the completion of my assessment task was upgrading to a new version of Microsoft Office. The formatting tabs and tools are very different to the older version of Microsoft Office that I have used in the past. Although I was very sceptical in the beginning, on completion of my PowerPoint presentation, I now have the confidence to use Microsoft PowerPoint as a teaching tool with my future students. I believe that I have the necessary skills to be able to create interactivelearning activities, text-to-speech books and presentations that my students can utilise.
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