There’s a lot of talk about digital tools in early childhood. If you don’t have ipads and other devices at your center, you might feel like you are limited in ability to utilize some of the latest developments. The good news is you don’t need mobile devices and wifi to create digital portfolios to document children’s learning and engage families.
Quite the contrary, there are many ways ‘low tech’ centers are using Storypark to document children’s learning – without needing much technology at all.
Most centers take photos of children’s activities on some kind of digital camera and have a desktop computer in their office that they use for printing and which is connected to the internet. A lot of centers have wifi but simply don’t have enough devices.
Sound familiar? If so here’s a few ideas:
- Use people’s old smart phones with the Sim card removed to capture photos and videos
- Replace Microsoft Word or Powerpoint on your PC with Storypark to produce documentation of children’s learning. This will enable you to immediately share observations with family members and your team, grow family engagement and participation, understand and reflect on your practice and still print observations all from your desktop computer.
- Take your digital camera with you to events and outings and download once you get back to the center. Here’s a video of how Anne Meade and the teachers at Daisies document children’s learning in nature using cameras: Imagine a classroom without walls
- Storypark offers a low-resolution access version for people using ADSL and slow connections and is always investing in compression to optimise upload/download speed – it’s faster than you think!
- Include children in the documentation process by giving them the digital camera and talking about what they are observing
“Rather than focusing on the benefit of being able to post photos and stories “on the floor” when we first started using Storypark we only had digital cameras and pcs. We focused on other benefits such as parents being more engaged in children’s learning, being better able to collaborate on stories and contributing to other teachers stories with our own individual lenses. Also the enhanced communication we experienced within a team of 17 teachers by using Storypark” – Sonya, Early Childhood Educator – Owhiro Bay Kindergarten