A few months ago (and more recently), we asked for your help: we wanted real-life teachers to share what was happening in their classrooms technology-wise. And share you did! We heard from so many of you, and we’re going to be sharing your classrooms with our fabulous readers starting…today! I don’t know about you guys, but I find it so insightful to see what other folks are out there doing. Sometimes they mention a tool they use or an application for a particular device that I hadn’t thought of, and I wish I had been able to think of that particular thing so much earlier! This is why collaboration is so awesome, and important.
Today, we’re hearing from Joanne Davis, who teaches family literacy for parents and preschool-age and school age children for Project READ Literacy Network in Waterloo Region, Ontario, Canada. Thanks for sharing with us, Joanne!
And don’t forget, if you’d like to share your classroom with us, please do! We’d love to hear from you!
Family literacy for parents and preschool-age and school age children
We are now integrating more digital technology into our family literacy program as we know our families are using it more and more and especially are using it with their children. As our population is lower literate and lower income we want to model how to use digital technology in a way that is good for kids. We introduce families to great websites that have for instance free books or music. We link them to the library and other community resources that can be of assistance, for instance Early Years Centres, Job Fairs. We use Youtube videos and other great web resources in our parent teaching. We have developed a class Facebook page to communicate, stay connected and build community.
Technology is helpful as it allows us to link our families to resources that they could not find on their own. We have Wifi in two of our sites and use a portable modem in the other sites. Sometimes it is counter productive if families are not literate on technology and it kind of creates two tiers of engagement. Cell phones are counter productive during the time families are supposed to be engaged. We have to work hard to disengage them from their phones sometimes.
Internet access-we can provide a rich range of resources for families together and for parent time. Smart phones, which almost everyone has in our group, are great for communicating and accessing the Internet. Often our families do not have a computer but they have phones. We try to use this an asset and build on that.
I would love a tablet of some kind.
Parents at various levels of digital literacy.
When our families are enjoying being together during our program…exciting and engaged with each other with a song or game or craft. I love seeing the faces of my kids as they learn new songs and become more confident in circle time. I love watching babies faces as their parents read them books!
Everyone has a smart phone and is using it to access the resources we use (at home). Parents and children are totally engaged with each other!