Unique hands-on learning for early childhood educators

As an educator and a people watcher I have such mixed emotions about technology. I love that I have so much information at my fingertips and I love that I can capture a quick photo, or see what is happening in my social and professional networks any time I need. However, I also wonder about the world our children are growing up in and how I, as an educator, can harness the benefits of technology and avoid the pitfalls!

If you’re a technology lover, a technology hater, or perhaps a little like me (seeing some good and some bad), then the 2017 Live Wires Forum is for you. This two-day event has called together an amazing collection of educators and researchers (including Professor Lydia Plowman coming all the way from the UK) who will be sharing current best practice around technology use for young children.

As the Editor of Live Wires magazine I’m thrilled to see this event come together. It responds to what educators have been asking for and is a great mix of research and practice—with some sensational opportunities to explore new technologies in hands-on, pedagogically appropriate ways. This event is not a sales pitch, but a chance to engage in deep learning and explore what technology use can and should look like for young children. I am particularly excited to hear about the forum’s tech play room where you can explore tech, curriculum and STEM. It’s a chance for us to explore ‘how to’ use technology in our rooms. This space, staffed by some sensational educators, will explore technology across our day-to-day programs and technology for different contexts. It is worth multiple visits throughout your time at the forum.

As we think critically about our practice and plan for a future for our children, there is no denying that the ‘technology genie’ is out of the bottle. Exploring healthy and ethical media use and examining how we can engage in best practice and great pedagogy with these tools are what many of us are striving for.


Dr Kate Highfield

Editor, Live Wires


PS: ECA congratulations Kate and family on the arrival of a baby girl last week.


The Live Wires Forum is a two-day professional development event connecting the latest thinking in early childhood theory, practice and pedagogy in digital technologies, with hands-on practical sessions. This is your opportunity to connect with other educators and experts. The forum will cover areas of challenges and concerns, current and future directions.

Click here to see the program overview! 

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Kate Highfield

Dr Kate Highfield is an experienced teacher and researcher with an interest in how technology impacts on learning, pedagogy and play. Prior to moving to Swinburne University of Technology, Kate spent over a decade working as a classroom teacher and then ten years working as a lecturer at Macquarie University in the Institute of Early Childhood and as a research fellow at RIPPLE (Research Institute for Professional Practice, Learning and Education). Kate researches the impact of technology as a tool with young children, parents and educators. Kate’s current research focuses on the use of technology in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM), with a focus on touch technologies and tech-toys, including Interactive Screens, Tablets, iPads, robotics, smart toys and smartphones.

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