Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see – Neil Postman

Activities

girlThis week, it’s been very hot and the school holidays are winding up. For children who aren’t going to school, thinking of what to do can be tricky. The wonderful woman who helps us out took them to the gallery. At the gallery, celebrating its 10th birthday, there’s been some great activities.

In one activity, they get to make an MP4 for the birthday celebration. The activity is very limited but perfect for young ones developing early literacy skills. They add their name to a movie birthday greeting so they get used to seeing and typing their names. They can ‘personalise’ their work by choosing an avatar, choosing a colour and deciding if their character will wear a party hat.

Research suggests these kinds of tasks help children build literacy, including traditional, visual and technological. The Early Years’ Learning Framework (EYLF) supports the integration of technology in children’s learning spaces. Outcome Five of the EYLF (Commonwealth of Australia, 2009), Children are effective communicators, emphasises the importance of:

Children us[ing] information and communication technologies to access information, investigate ideas and represent their thinking

(p. 44)

The evidence for this outcome includes:

evidence.jpg

The gallery’s activity meets these requirements. It uses ICTs to access images (avatars) which they use for designing and editing and composing the simplified message about the gallery’s birthday. The video helps them “make sense of their world” while “engag[ing] with technology for fun and to make meaning”.

Taking children to the gallery to complete this imple task allows them to integrate a range of technologies into their play, construct simple projects, “represent their ideas” and “encourage collaborative learning … through technologies between … children and their educators”.

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