Introduction:
I have worked in early childhood for a number of years and for the last eight have been the Head Teacher at Westmere Kindergarten. Over this time my own interest in ICT has increased and this has led to seeing how ICT can fit in the early childhood setting in a meaningful way. Initially children worked on an old P.C. As funds permitted equipment was upgraded.

Today we have two ibooks, aG5 imac, two digital still cameras and a video camera for the children to use.
Westmere Kindergarten has a long tradition of story telling which came about through the use of the assessment framework known as learning Stories. These are narrative style, are accessible by children and their whanau/family, and tell a ‘story’ of the learning that happened for the child. The learning is then analysed and the next step is planned for with the child’s interest in mind. Because of this narrative style, children have become more familiar with the story-ing nature of documentation and began to tell their own stories initially through the ‘ child’s voice’. Teachers then provided the opportunity for children to tell their own stories, to a point where it has become accepted by children, teachers, whanau/parents that story telling is some thing that we ‘ do here’. Initially these stories were hand written by the teacher as the child dictated them and over time it seemed a logical progression to use the new computers to record children’s stories. The children and the teachers are now able to document the children’s stories in a range of ways, including the use of ICT. It has frequently been the case, over time, that children develop complex and imaginative stories.

It has been our impression that children’s stories increase in complexity, connections and continuity over time, but working full time in the kindergarten environment has not given the teachers time to analyse in depth the learning that is happening for children through their story telling. This project has enabled me to look more closely at this, with ICTs as an additional frame.
This project has also given me the opportunity to explore how different programmes can assist children’s story telling, e.g.. Using Kidpix and PowerPoint, Garageband and iMovie.

My Core Interest:
What is the process whereby young children in an ECE setting can use ICTs to assist them to tell stories? What are the affordances (what makes it easy?) and what are the constraints (what makes it difficult?). The initial framework for analysis will be to look at complexity, connections and continuity.

Rationale:
Research has shown that ICTs can be integrated into teaching and learning to enhance the curriculum of Te Whãriki and associated learning dispositions (habits of mind, or approaches to learning situations (e.g. a capacity for persisting, being engaged, communicating, taking responsibility). Story telling is part of this learning.

Research Question:
Can the use of ICT’s enhance the complexity, connections and continuity of young children’s story telling?
Then if it can…

Sub Questions:

1. What is the process whereby ICTs may assist some children to use storytelling to make connections with what they already know and with prior experiences?
2. What is the process whereby ICTs may assist some children to tell more complex stories?
3. What is the process whereby ICTs may assist some children to tell stories with continuity of ideas?
4. What are the ‘affordances’ and the constraints along the way when using ICT’s to
record children’s stories?

 

© 2005 Jo Colbert.