Educators who are responsible for, or interested in, the meaningful use of technologies with young learners (ages 3-8 years) often find themselves feeling isolated and in the role of constant “translation” of content, approaches and materials to “fit” their setting, situation and learners’ needs. The purpose of this forum is to provide sustained, deeper exploration and discussion of the issues, challenges, opportunities and successes related to young learners and technologies while building professional relationships and informal support systems.
The detailed outline of this forum is listed elsewhere in this proposal, some important things of note:
The forum will be highly interactive, providing formats and opportunities for participants to share and learn from each other as well as from invited experts.
The forum will include online tools for communicating among the participants following the forum. These will include sharing lessons learned, additional resources, evidence of “what works” and more.
The forum will include a wide range of tools, resources, and activities which will provide active learning opportunities for participants around important topics, strategies and tools.
In addition to an analysis of evaluations of the Forum by participants, the forum will be deemed successful if the participants begin new collegial discussions/relationships, share successes and challenges and feel more integrated into the entire conference through other early learning events such as the playground, poster sessions, and dedicated early learning sessions. Follow up with participants following the forum will be coordinated by the forum leadership with participants willing to participate in those discussions/polls/webinars etc.
Some baseline outcomes will be:
The participants are able to describe more than one approach to using technologies with young learners to others and explain some strengths and weaknesses.
The participants will have more than one implementable idea they can describe to others as a result of the forum.
The participants will be able to better articulate some recent research about technology use and young children.
The participants will have added to their "contacts" more early learning educators they may want to have contact with after the forum.
Welcome (30 minutes):
Online Sharing of information of those in attendance (ie where they are from on an interactive map) (as entering)
Welcome to all
Introductions of Key Facilitators (in person/online/presentation)
Introductions of participants (via online tool)
Forum Expectations and Goals (presentation/discussion)
Professional Expectations and Goals (via online tool)
Early Learners and Technology - research and insight - Interactive Presentation (20 minutes)
Interactive Presentation including hands-on activity/discussion
(online resources shared)
Integrating Technologies and Typical Learning Tools - Hands-on experience (15 minutes)
Guided example technology experience with debriefing discussion (table talk or group discussion) and sharing out (via online tool)
Interactive Presentation: What does the research tell us about technology use by young children? (Polls or other interactive features included)(15 min)
Interactive Presentation: How do we get to deeper thinking and Computational Thinking? (20 min)
Presentation explores the 4 pillars of CT through early learning appropriate examples and activities.
Exploring Robots and Young Learners: Research and Higher level thinking experiences with concrete examples (20 min)
Robots and video/images /stories will be used to demonstrate and/or experience the kinds of thinking learners can use given a activity formats and questioning.
Participants share their first ideas about their next steps (anonymously on provided online tool, or with name) Share and discussion about these first ideas. 15 min
Reflection and Call to Action (15 min)
Overview of other Early Learning Events, Sessions at the Conference (5 min)
Bers, M. (2017) Coding as a Playground: Programming and Computational Thinking in the Early Childhood Classroom. Routledge.
Papert, S. (1980). Mindstorms: Children, computers, and powerful ideas. New York: Basicbooks.
Resnick, M., & Robinson, K. (2018). Lifelong kindergarten: Cultivating creativity through projects, passion, peers, and play. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.
“Coding as Literacy Teaching Programming as a Literacy of the 21st Century.” Coding as Literacy, DevTech Research Group, Tufts University, sites.tufts.edu/codingasliteracy/.
Three-year-olds as Photographers http://digitalcommons.uri.edu/jmle/vol8/iss1/2/
Observing and assessing young children’s digital play in the early years: Using the Digital Play Framework
Headphones may be useful.
The ability to use wifi is imperative, but the facilitator will have alternative plans in case of wifi failure.