On the first day of school last year, I took a minute to speak with each child in my class. I sat next to the child and showed them the metal board that I had bought at Target. I told them it said "Hello my name is" and that I would like them to write their name in the white area. I then took a picture of the child holding the sign. That first night I put all of the children's pictures and pictures of my assistant and myself on our classroom website. The whole project was super easy but it gave me a quick little check on where each student was (at least as far as writing their name and answering a few questions about themselves and their summer). It was also very appreciated by the parents who could look up pictures of their child's classmates when they were trying to put a face with a name.
|Our classroom website (we use myclassroomconnection.com) where I post a newsletter and photos every week.|
Both the parents and kids liked seeing how they had grown over the year and I am sure the laminated keepsake will be fun to look back on in future years.
Thanks for visiting Technology for a Global Early Childhood Education, a resource site for early childhood educators! This website was created in hopes of filling a gap in the available resources for educators working with young children and interested in using technology they already have to create global learning experiences in their classrooms. You might ask, what is a “global learning experience”? The terms “global education” and “educational technology” have been used in varying ways across the Internet and current research but for this website, I define global learning experiences as any classroom activities which expose young children to new ways of thinking about the world, their own and others’ cultures, world languages, communities, and families.
Why is global important?
Our world is becoming both increasingly diverse and increasingly connected, which means that children will need new skill sets in order to communicate and collaborate and to work and play together. Early childhood classrooms in the United States today often have children who speak many different languages and who are part of numerous different cultures. Instead of just accepting this diversity in demographics, I believe that we should utilize it as an opportunity to engage young children in an ongoing exploration of the world. By creating global learning experiences, early childhood teachers have the ability to expose children to concepts of diversity, multiculturalism, and multilingualism at an early age. This type of early exposure can make issues of equity and equality, as well as global understanding, accessible and relevant to children and hopefully less of a struggle to understand and practice as they grow into adults. You can read more about this on the Why Globalize ECEpage.
I believe that technology can be instrumental in creating global learning experiences because technology has the power to breakdown geographical, economical, language, and time-zone barriers. With technology, we can gather around a screen in a small town in Montana and connect with a classroom in Russia. We can send a Prezi or Voicethread presentation about a school or a community in the U.S. and have friends view and comment on it in other countries. Technology also allows for a two-way street. Instead of just sending information out about a holiday, custom, or community that children in your classroom experience, you can have an exchange and receive information back in return about cultural practices, customs, and communities other children experience around the world.
About this site
This website was primarily created for early childhood educators who are working with young children, ages 2-8, but many of the sites and tools discussed here can also be used for older ages and grades. The tabs at the top of the website will help you navigate the various resources and tools available.
- The Why Globalize ECE? tab discusses some of the current equity issues at play in early childhood education and the ways that using technology to create global learning experiences can help address some of these issues.
- The Related References tab provides background research, books, and websites that can help you learn more about the topics of early childhood, global education, and educational technology.
- The Global Tools tab provides a page with tech tools you can begin using in your classroom to create global learning experiences for your children and a page with teacher tools to help you, as an educator, connect with other educators around the globe!
- The Current Projects tab provides numerous examples and stories of other early childhood educators and classrooms who are engaging in global projects and connecting with other children around the world.
- The Ideas to Action tab has a page with some getting started tips and resources to help you on your journey to create global learning experiences using technology for the young children in your classroom.
- The Blogtab has posts about the intersections of early childhood education, technology, and global education.
About the Creator
Margaret A. Powers is passionate about early childhood education and using technology to connect early childhood educators and classrooms around the globe. She loves exploring new technologies, particularly using social media to share ideas and learn from other educators across the world. You can learn more about Margaret at her website: www.margaret-powers.com and she would love to connect with you on Twitter and LinkedIn.