The purpose of the Early Learning Playground is to provide a casual, active learning experience and meaningful conversations around the use of technologies with and for young learners ages 3 to 8 years. The Playground is designed to encourage playful exploration of technology's many roles in supporting and encouraging learning in young children.
A variety of tools and resources will be shared in active learning settings and presentations all with a purpose of encouraging conversations, discussions and thought about the powerful uses of technologies with young learners.
Tools to be included are robotics, collaborative tools, building tools, communication tools, programming tools and more.
The Early Learning Playground will be successful if educators find themselves thinking, discussing and wondering about the possibilities that technology can bring to their own young learners and their adults. Furthermore, the Playground will be successful if participants are still thinking about things they did, played with, saw, spoke about with others in the following days and months. (The Early Learning Playground will include an online resource/sharing site which will persist well beyond the short duration of the conference.)
Activities in the Playground will focus on Computational Thinking and Active Learning with Technologies for young learners ages 3-8 years.
There will be activities facilitated by educators using robots, collaborative software, and other apps and tools, always with a focus on young learners and their learning and development. These activities will encourage hands-on use and peer-to-peer discussion and problem solving in a supportive, fun atmosphere. Additionally, there will be interactive presentations, a collaboration station, and a "library "of typical classroom materials (paper-based books, classroom manipulatives and more) with annotations or examples of ways to connect technologies with other learning tools.
Research related to active learning and choice for adult learners: