Children are ICT Sponges

I watched this you tube video today, and I found it interesting to know how much the world has changed due to the opportunities various information technologies have brought. I mean, this video was made in 2007, if it were to be made again now, I just wonder what it would say now. With a large percentage of the worlds population on Facebook, computers available in many schools, even in third world countries and the four year olds in my care having the capability to use computers, ipads, digital cameras, etc. The four year olds in my care have the complete discourse of ICTs as well – they seem to have naturally absorbed the culture of ICTs which have evolved in our society.

I had someone speak with me today after I set out an activity for the children at my service, saying that the children would not be capable of this ICT activity. “What, if they can do this, then they can go to university next year?”, she joked as I explained to her the activity I wanted her to engage the children in. Little did she realise how clever children are – they have grown up surrounded by ICT’s and their capabilities extend beyond their Grandparents’. Children can adapt to any challenge if you give them the confidence, support and opportunity.

Therefore, it is more important than before that we teach for tomorrow, and teach children not only how to use current ICT’s, but teach them how to adapt to new ICT’s.

The Toolbelt Theory

The teaching method where teachers teach children to adapt to new technologies by giving them the tools to adapt (eg. The ability to observe new technologies to figure out how they work without consulting an instruction manual).

The Toolbelt Theory makes me think about how before trains people lived in small villiages because that is as far as they could travel, the technology wasn’t there to support them. However when trains were implemented in pre-industrial England, people started socialising and traveling with other villages. The technology assisted their ability to function in what was a fast paced world, but they would not have been able to use the technology unless someone taught them how to buy a ticket, and their observation of train etiquette. This is a great metaphor for learning and I see this way of teaching/ learning becoming more prominent as our technological future becomes increasingly uncertain.

Children need teachers to teach them the tools of intuitive, and to be spontaneously thinking on their feet. Technologies are changing every day now, and we have no idea what our children, or our children’s children will be dealing with in their professional lives. Therefore it is imperative to keep up with the latest technologies whilst teaching children the skills of observation of new technologies to help them master their use.

(see http://speedchange.blogspot.com.au/p/blog-page_2046.html for more info on the Toolbelt Thoery)

Theories I have heard of before

1. The Bystander Effect Theory

The Bystander effect theory states that the more people that are known to be within a square kilometre, the less likely anyone will help a person in need/danger, even if they are screaming “help me”. This is because people assume that someone else will help the person in need. If a person is in need/ danger on a farm, they are more likely to be helped by another if they call as it is a known fact that another person is unlikely to also come across this person in need/danger. 

This is imperative to introduce to children, as it is less likely to happen if the general population know that it is a valid social effect. 

I like this theory, as the night before I learnt about it, I was watching CSI and the theory made sense within the context of the CSI episode. 

I know this theory so well that I described the above definition of the Bystander Effect from memory. 

2. PKM – Personal Knowledge Management

Personal knowledge Management is a modern method of organising information learnt regarding a particular topic. It involves collating posts, being vigilant about reading and keeping up to date with the latest information available on social media or scholary website, reflecting on its validity, and then forming ones own opinion based on the new knowledge acquired. 

This theory is great to introduce to students, perhaps more through practice (i.e. teaching children to use social media, and to use cameras, books, and google to form their PKM’s) than through theory. It is relevant to the technological century we are living in and will be a vital skill throughout their education. 

I am having trouble appreciating this theory as I only read about it an hour ago and I am still trying to get my head around it. I also haven’t heard of anything like it before, so I have nothing to base my new knowledge on. 

Hello, welcome to my blog.

Hello.

My name is Em, and I am here to share a journey of learning with you. I am studying early childhood education at the University of Southern Queensland by correspondence. I am based in Canberra (the nation’s capital), ACT, and work in a preschool as an after school care co-ordinator.

I love my job and my study. I also have a love for fashion and photography. My fashion/photography blog can be found at lookingfinesince89.tumblr.com.

You can find me on twitter at @perriem89

I hope you are ready for an adventure. University semesters often do have their peaks, as they do their lows. However out of this adversity emerges a resilient, knowledgeable, risk taking individual who can take on further challenges.

Speak soon,

Em