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Technology in The Early Years


Blondie1
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We need to update our computer which is really ole and therefore hardly used. What do other people use in their nursery (pre-school really)?

Laptops, desktops, tablets with touch-screen??? I am a little bit anti-screens at this age, however, I recognise that we have a requirement to provide something. Any advice would be welcome.

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I recently purchased a refurb touchscreen laptop where the keyboard flips back underneath to form the stand and they can't keep messing everything up by banging the keyboard, though to be honest it isn't asked for much, I think it isn't the novelty it once was to children, we have staff tablets with a few child friendly apps that they sometimes ask to have a go on

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In the past we have had a computer but when this gave up we did not replace it. We did purchased a small children's kindle tablet but its not great and to tell the truth we do not use it.

I believe that children have so much access to technology most of the time that we do not need to provide it now.

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I'm being told (by Ofsted and here on the Forum) that the children should have access to a tablet. But I don't want to buy one and pay for wifi access for the 45 minutes the children are playing inside. I don't want to give them the opportunity to withdraw from creative expression and social interaction. And I don't want to bring a tablet to the woods, where we spend each morning, to play a computer game instead of engaging with nature, their imagination and each other. In any case, the children have access to technology at home or will when older and, if not, they will at school.

I mentioned, in another thread, that I'm considering requesting exception from this aspect of the EYFS because I can't see how I can meet this requirement in a meaningful way. Seeking information about something we are finding or talking about is meaningful, but I won't get wifi access for that. In any case, the reflection around the question if often more important thatn the answer at this age, and for that you don't need a computer. I know that there are good educational apps, but it just doesn't feel right that they engage with a screen to learn literacy and maths, instead of with an adult.

In this thread I feel that I may not be the only one who is letting the computer aspect of of what we are supposed to provide not happen.

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I also feel it's not too important to have out every day we are from an affluent area and when we asked the children (2-4yrs) what they'd had for Christmas nearly all our 2year olds had Ipads - the older ch already have them!

 

The only thing I would say is that there was a lack of ICT in our room when we were inspected last year, and it ended up as an 'action' on our report - the fact that I could prove by our photo evidence that the children do access the laptop on certain days wasn't enough, neither were the ICT table top toy style toys that were out that day.

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It was an action on our report too. - one I 'gave' the inspector to show that I'm aware of the requirement.

For our assessments we ask parents if children know how to use a mouse to point and click and a touch screen to tap and swipe. With older children we discuss to see if they know that they can use a computer to search for information about something they are interested in.

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We still have a desktop in the room for children to use. It doesn't have a touch screen. Children learn to use a mouse. It's on during the morning and we use a timer and a list to monitor who uses it and the length of time they use it for. We do not have any WiFi access. Some weeks we do not turn it on at all.

 

We have other ICT activities - children use a v tech camera and then sit with an adult to select and print a 'limited' number of their photos. This is maybe something that you could use outside? We have a cd player, an old Walkman type toy with story cds. Perhaps we could think about apps - torches, compasses etc.

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We have a digital camera but looking at something and pressing a button is not that valuable, in my opinion. They can use it but I have to control it so we don't run out of battery. A CD player and laptop etc appear sometimes and are shown to a few children, but free access to press buttons and break things - no. Any use of technology must be meaningful and not disrupt the exploration of the environment, the imaginative free play and the interaction with other people.

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We have a digital camera but looking at something and pressing a button is not that valuable, in my opinion. They can use it but I have to control it so we don't run out of battery. A CD player and laptop etc appear sometimes and are shown to a few children, but free access to press buttons and break things - no. Any use of technology must be meaningful and not disrupt the exploration of the environment, the imaginative free play and the interaction with other people.

 

If you are using a Forest School approach, perhaps having a tablet with some apps that provide data about the surrounding area would be useful? Tablets with built in Navigation software or Maps could be good idea to provide a satellite image of where they are currently stood? I wonder if there are apps regarding native fauna and flora, so the children can identify plants by using images on the tablet.

 

Technology doesn't have to be ICT equipement. Perhaps some power tools for use your woodland environment could be considered, like a rechargable screwdriver or dynamo torches for use inthe woods when its dark in the early mornings or evenings?

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We have a laptop - but rarely use it with the children , we have digital cameras , a beebot , Stereo,wind up torches,talking tins . Our ofsted inspector didn't mention the lack of a laptop or tablet in the session .

We are considering a tablet - but to use it alongside books , to research things ( we do like the odd impromptu 'Google' !)

 

Just a thought wild flowers - we've used talking tins outside to record the sounds we hear - birds singing , the cockrel crowing, wind in the trees etc - then taken them inside and used them as prompts for discussion / art work / literacy etc

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We have a digital camera but looking at something and pressing a button is not that valuable, in my opinion. They can use it but I have to control it so we don't run out of battery. A CD player and laptop etc appear sometimes and are shown to a few children, but free access to press buttons and break things - no. Any use of technology must be meaningful and not disrupt the exploration of the environment, the imaginative free play and the interaction with other people.

With respect Wildflowers, the camera is not just used as a button pressing exercise. It is used with an adult and a small group of children to encourage language about what children can see, what they want to take their photos of and about their choices of which pictures to print. We are not lucky enough to have woods nearby or a large outdoor area. We use our limited resources and children's interests to help them make progress. We have several children with language delay so anything that helps is good! We do not have tablets in the setting and although we are not in an affluent area, it appears that all our children have access to parents smart phones.

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Following with interest. We have recently purchased Beebots which the children love. I must say they are very popular and I think this is the novelty aspect of them as no one has them at home!

We also have a tablet but its rarely used. It was a waste of money. The children know its there but never ask for it as there is so much more on offer.

In our last Inspection we had a prehistoric P.C with mouse which obviously ticked Mrs O's boxes, even though no children asked for it the day of Inspection...I wonder if Beebots and unused tablet will.......

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Anticipates repeated sounds, sights and actions, e.g. when an

adult demonstrates an action toy several times.

• Shows interest in toys with buttons, flaps and simple

mechanisms and beginning to learn to operate them.

• Seeks to acquire basic skills in turning on and operating some

equipment.

• Operates mechanical toys, e.g. turns the knob on a wind-up

toy or pulls back on a friction car.

• Knows how to operate simple equipment

 

• Shows skill in making toys work by pressing parts or lifting

flaps to achieve effects such as sound, movements or new

images.

• Knows that information can be retrieved from computers

• Completes a simple program on a computer.

• Uses ICT to interact with age-appropriate computer software

 

 

I think we have to keep in mind the goals we are trying to achieve...all but the 40-60 months categories can be done with toys of all sorts (working and non working!) we have lots of old mobile phones. calculators, ipods . torches etc etc.

There are lots of ways of linking this to your outdoor provision too

Our best purchase was a load of dynamo torches from ikea...would be great for exploring the woods and nooks and crannies!

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• Completes a simple program on a computer

• Uses ICT to interact with age-appropriate computer software

Would it be enough to check if children do this at home and then bring in a laptop and sit with those who don't, to do it with us. If so, how often? Until the have shown us that they can comple a simple programme and have interacted with softwhare for a while?

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Would it be enough to check if children do this at home and then bring in a laptop and sit with those who don't, to do it with us. If so, how often? Until the have shown us that they can comple a simple programme and have interacted with softwhare for a while?

I am thinking of doing this as we do have missing information in this area. It also ticks a box for partnership with parents working as well!!

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  • 2 weeks later...

 

If you are using a Forest School approach, perhaps having a tablet with some apps that provide data about the surrounding area would be useful? Tablets with built in Navigation software or Maps could be good idea to provide a satellite image of where they are currently stood? I wonder if there are apps regarding native fauna and flora, so the children can identify plants by using images on the tablet.

 

Technology doesn't have to be ICT equipement. Perhaps some power tools for use your woodland environment could be considered, like a rechargable screwdriver or dynamo torches for use inthe woods when its dark in the early mornings or evenings?

I think that you have hit the nail on the head here, technology doesn't have to be ICT, but I have to admit to be slightly at a loss as to what else to provide that is meaningful and not just a nod to satisfying some Ofsted criteria! More ideas on this theme would be appreciated. I love the screwdriver idea!

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[...] technology doesn't have to be ICT, [...]

Technology is more than ICT, but providing experiences of technology without computers wouldn't be enough from an Ofsted perseptive. Children under 5 years are supposed to interact with computer software and complete a simple program.

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A simple programme could be switching on device , taking photo and uploading it , at the end of the day if your setting and its ethos does not implement this then stick to your guns and have your reasoning ready , surely you can tell them being a forest environment is to take them away from technology as in ict but you involve technology aspects elsewhere .

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