A little known way to guide children’s ‘app-cess’

Educators and parents are often anxious about Apps, access and how to control technology. These concerns can prevent them from engaging, questioning and learning more freely about technology with other professionals or alongside children.

On the other hand educators sometimes ask ECA ‘just for a list of the best Apps’. There are thousands of Apps. It’s not possible to know all of them. Often it’s more important to know what to look for and what else you can do with the device. How children and educators interact and direct the experience can be more important that what pre-set Apps are available. Talking with each other about what works and applying what you already know about quality learning experiences is a good start.

This was the opportunity last month’s Live Wires Forums gave. It was a chance to bring educators together to talk about play-based learning and technology and to hear from each other and a few experts how it fits within a sound pedagogical practice.

The messages from Dr Kate Highfield and Dan Donahoo (both keynote speakers at Live Wires) were about using your existing educator skills and perspectives to jump in and work out the best approaches. You can find more about their presentations and resources mentioned during the Forums at the Live Wires Resources site.

At the Sydney Forum, ECA caught up with Dan Donahoo explaining one little-known feature of the iPad that gives a lot of control while still allowing children to explore, play and learn. Educators and parents can use Guided Access to ensure children venture where it’s safe to go when using an App and can also use the setting to avoid ads, pop-ups or in-app purchases.

Click the video below to see Dan explain.

For more information and resources about digital technology and early childhood see the Digital Business Kit for Early Childhood.

Digital Business Kit

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Clare McHugh

Clare McHugh is a Project Manager in ECA’s Learning Hub. She is responsible for the Digital Business Kit, exploring possibilities for technology in the early childhood sector, and for Start Early, an initiative to develop long term strategies that prevent domestic and family violence. Clare has been thinking and writing about children, family and social policy for many years, including previously for the Commonwealth Child Care Advisory Council and the Australian government. Her background is in psychology and professional writing. She has worked in adult development and group facilitation, employer sponsored child care, family relationships and in the publishing industry. Outside of ECA Clare continues several writing and publishing projects through her freelance business.

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