Dan Donahoo, educator, technology reviewer and author, has been thinking and talking about technology and young children for some time. And in less than a month he’ll be sharing and exchanging tech tips at the Early Childhood Australia conference in Melbourne. It’s no longer a matter of should technology be used in early childhood settings, Dan says, but what technology and how is it used.
We first caught up with Dan earlier this year at Edutech’s Young Learners Congress in Sydney where Dan’s watch words were WITH, AND, meaning stay with children as they explore and combine technology and other learning experiences. Use it as a platform to leap off into activities, investigations and the outside world. Dan is a strong advocate for the unique role early educators have in shaping children’s attitudes to technology. They are the experts parents turn to when making informed choices about their child’s learning and development.
Educators can bring unique skills to the task Dan says. The question is: are early childhood professionals using technology with young children and modelling the behaviours they’d like to see? By staying involved adults can share the experience, answer questions and learn along with the child. Remaining involved allows educators to use their particular skills of observation, critical reflection and curiosity to guide children’s choices.
Dan Donahoo is bringing his unique mix of skills to hosting ECA’s Technology Speed Dating Hub at the Seasons of Change national conference in Melbourne on 5, 6 and 7 September. The hub, part of ECA’s Digital Business project, is a place for practitioners to gather in small groups for 20 minutes and talk about technology in their education or business practice. Just like speed dating, it will be brief and to the point, designed for impact, questions and answers.
Come along and share your favourite technology story, exchange tips or just listen to others. Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or watch what others are doing with their technology tools. If you’re interested in leading a session drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or just come along and say hello at the hub.