When many of our parents are taking thoughtful approaches to limiting childrens’ technology use, it appears counter-intuitive to put technology in the classrooms. Nevertheless, recently the Andi Collins Foundation, and a preschool family associated with the foundation, donated 40 iPads to our the Aronoff Preschool putting technology in the hands of our teachers.
They explained, “Everyday we’re impressed by the work of the preschool teachers and we wanted to support them, the school and the children here. This work is a good testament to Andi.”
Lisa Monette, Director, Eric & Sheila Samson Family Early Childhood Learning Center, explains, “the iPads allow our teachers to take documentation – a critical element of our Reggio-inspired curriculum – to the next level. The iPads help teachers capture and document children's work with great care and attention to both the content and aesthetic aspects of the display.”
Documentation makes learning visible. Typically, it includes samples of the children’s work, photographs of the children engaged in the project work, and comments and transcripts of conversations. The documents highlight how the children planned, carried out, and completed their work.
Loris Malaguzzi, founder of the Reggio curriculum, advocated that documentation “supports children to become even more curious, interested, and confident as they contemplate the meaning of what they have achieved”.
Lining our preschool walls, the Reggio documentation Documentary conveys to our children that their efforts, intentions, and ideas are taken seriously.
In addition, sharing documented work encourages parents and family to participate in their child’s learning in a more intimate way. Documentation also allows us to understand the work and learning that their child is engaged in and think about ways they can contribute to the work in a thoughtful way.
For those who have not been a parent in a preschool for a while, will likely have erased from their memory the constant paperwork and schedules required to sign children in and out, list medicines, allergies, social dilemmas, and emergency forms. Lisa further illustrates that the iPads allow our school to use technology, catching up to modern conveniences, to manage paperwork efficiently and effectively, “allowing for more time with our students”.