Showcasing Powerful Technologies for Purposeful Learning:

Engage Young Children, Inspire Learning, and Transform Teaching

NAEYC 2012 Annual Conference Presentation:

(Saturday, November 10, Atlanta, Ga)
Here's the presentation!

Mark Bailey: Professor, Pacific University, Oregon. Director Pacific University Child Learning and Development Center.
Bonnie Blagojevic: Early Childhood Education Consultant, Apple Distinguished Educator, Adjunct Faculty University of Maine,
Diane Bales: Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Science, and Human Development Specialist, Cooperative Extension,The University of Georgia,

Warren Buckleitner: Editor, Children's Technology Review

We are members of the National Association for the Education of Young Children Technology and Young Children Interest Forum. Learn more about how you can get involved in our online community and projects! Visit the Technology and Young Children website today.
Come learn about and experience the cutting edge of technology designed for use by young children. In this engaging and interactive session we will demonstrate a range of innovative emergent technologies and help you experience the variety of ways they can support your work and your students’ learning. Collaborative-tools, Web-based applications, hand-held devices, and student-empowering computing; these new technologies are transforming the way people of all ages are learning and communicating. Read below and follow the links to be inspired to explore these tools, learn how to get started, and how they can enable amazing new opportunities for your students.

Mark Bailey - Evaluating Emergent Technologies: Supporting Literacy Using Digital Tools

For access of my tech tool Webpage, please click on this icon external image ipad2.jpg or go the the following URL:
Framed by two excellent articles:
Bonawitz, E., Shafto, P., Gweon, H., Goodman, N., Spelke, E. S., & Schulz, L.E. Cognition 120 (2011) 331–340
Sept 28 issue of Science Magazine "Scientific Thinking in Young Children: Theoretical Advances, Empirical Research, and Policy Implications"
Gopnik's Conslusions:
1. High-quality early learning experiences have a demonstrable impact on later life.
2. Current efforts to make early childhood learning more structured and academic in line with the traditional formal schooling of older students, are misguided. Policy makers “systematically underestimate the intellectual capacity of preschoolers.”
3. “Even very young children can be deeply engaged in profoundly cognitive work such as hypothesis testing and causal inference”
4. Gopnik notes that the research continues to confirm what you and I already knew, that “children’s spontaneous exploratory and pretend play is designed to help them learn.”
5. Explicit instruction seems to “narrow the range of hypotheses that children are willing to consider”. In contrast, activities such as encouraging play, presenting anomalies, and asking for explanations prompt scientific thinking more effectively than direct instruction.

This work directly connects with the NAEYC Technology and Young Children Position Statement on the characteristics of high quality educational technology tools and use
Embodies Universal DesignThings to Look for in an Educational Technology:
Utilizes Developmentally Appropriate Features
Extends Classroom Experiences
Requires Active Engagement
Scaffolds Adaptive Complexity
Encourages Revisiting & Sharing
Models Multiple Diversities
Empowers Exploration & Creativity
Fosters Thinking & Problem Solving
Supports Playful Use
There are many organizations that offer systematic evaluations of software based on a wide range of criteria. Here are some of the evaluative sites we find to be the most useful: The Fred Rogers Center's ELE, Common Sense Media's App Reviews, Children's Technology Review, and Education Apps Reviews.

Digital Microscopes Example Page
These are the quintessential ECE technology. Taking otherwise hidden world and instantly revealing new perspectives by a tool that they can manipulate in their own hands.
Requires: USB or Wireless scope (We prefer the ProScope), a computer screen of some form, Free Software download.
Use – indoor or out, in science center or to explore a specific question or investigation.
Evaluation - Child in control, Extends authentic learning, Empowers exploration, Fosters thinking, Inherently motivating, Not inexpensive
Further Resources: Proscope

Digital Storymaking: : Four Tools Empowering Children’s Voices
Digital Cameras are an easy to use and relatively inexpensive tool - Example Page
Using cameras to capture images has not only been transformative to the anguish of cleanup time, it has provided an excellent forum for digital story telling.
Let me describe a technique used at our school called storyography.
Requires: Close teacher scaffolding, Bookmaking materials, Digital Camera, Computer, Printer
Process - Student creates, Teacher transcribes, Student photographs, Teacher prints, Book constructed, Digitized?
Evaluation - UDL with adaptive scaffolds, Intentionality & creativity, Student initiated, Open-ended, Low tech

StoryKit – An excellent set of three videos by one of our master teachers demonstrates this approach (Ozilline, Katelyn, Damon).
This is one of the more beloved ipad, pod and phone tools and will be talked about in different ways by Bonnie, Diane and me. It is a multimedia tool for storymaking, originally designed for iPhone.
Requires: iPad or pod or phone. Free Application, Web connection.
Use – Can be used individually or with scaffolding as a tool for Storyography
Photograph, digitally draw, or write story, Select images, Add writing, Narrate, Upload, Share
Evaluation –Differentiated, student-centered, Open-ended, template-free, Adaptive complexity, Sharing & revisiting, Web & classroom accessible, Creativity, motivating, Files not transferable
Other useful StoryKit Sites - Elementary Ed Tech, Digital Storytelling,

Tapikeo –tool that can serve multiple purposes: Storyography,social stories, Augmentative & Alternative Communication, Visual Schedules, Memory Aids, Labels & Items, Picture Books, Storyboards, Soundboards and Audio Flashcards. All in one
Requires: Application $2.99, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Computer for Sharing
Use – Create Grid, Photograph & document, Add sound, Share, Create personalized grids with up to 48 images with sound and captions
Evaluation - UDL and Assistive technology, Extends and supports work, Encourages revisiting, Extends Classroom Experiences
Further resources: Tapikeo, ABCs for SLPs, Apps for AAC

Speech to text – I have long thought of this as a transformative technology when it is final perfected. It will allow children to speak and see the composition of the words they are speaking. This will help with sound letter associations as well as any number of other literacy developments.
Requires: Computing platform, Software (free or $200), Headset (with software), Patience/training
Use – ON ipad it is touch and read, on a computer it involves a headset and more adult scaffolding.
Evaluation - Almost ready for children, Extends classroom experiences, Empowers voice, Sharing & Revisiting, TOO Expensive, Not UDL

So when considering a tool: Envision what will be learned, Apply the Position Statement, Support not supplant essential activities, Be deliberate & intentional, Have fun
Remember The more didactic, and explicit technological tools are, the more limiting they become and the more they narrow children’s thinking.
When you consider what tools are the most important to support young children’s learning, I would remind you of the rich work of the line of cognitive scientists stretching from Piaget through Gopnik. Children should be playing and experimenting with concrete manipulative materials and should be outside interacting with nature. They should be testing hypotheses and pretend playing with peers. Where the work of that play can be extended and supported by technology in a learner-centered manner, I encourage you to do so gently and thoughtfully.

If you have any questions, please email me at

Diane Bales - Using Technology Tools to Support Preschoolers' Hands-on Exploration

Our Preschool iPad Project
  • Exploratory study of integrating iPad use into a mixed-age classroom of 3- to 5-year-olds
  • Children had a variety of prior technology experience
  • Teachers has a variety of prior technology experience and comfort with technology
  • Areas of focus:
    • Cooperation and Social Interaction
    • Literacy and Storytelling
    • Family Involvement Using Technology

Guiding Principles from the NAEYC/FRC Position Statement
  • Use of technology extends opportunities for learning, without replacing other materials
  • Primary focus is on the activity, not the technology itself
  • Limits are placed on technology use
  • Teachers use professional judgment to select appropriate uses of technology

Teachers' Developmental Process in Integrating iPads
  • Different levels of initial comfort with iPads
  • Teacher who was least comfortable initially learned to relax rigid rules for iPad use
    • It's not so fragile that it can't be moved off the table
    • We don't need to call it a “Research Tool”; children know it as an iPad
  • Teachers with more initial comfort needed to learn how to evaluate apps critically
    • Need to override initial impulse to search for a way to justify use of apps that we think are fun
    • Thinking about apps needed to move beyond just “games” (although appropriate use of games from time to time is possible)
  • Teachers needed to shift thinking from using technology for technology's sake to connecting iPad use to curriculum themes, goals, and objectives.

Example Activities with iPads
  • Using the iPad to research a question generated by the children ("What's the difference between monkeys and apes?"). Different groups found different information; comparisons enabled children to compare viewpoints.
  • Cooperation and social interaction using game: After watching the movie "Brave," children asked to play the game Brave Temple Run. One child who was an expert at this game was able to practice social interaction by helping classmates and teachers learn how to play it.
  • Literacy and communication through VoiceThread: After reading Wiggle by Doreen Cronin and discussing the use of lines to convey movement in art, children created their own movement drawings. They uploaded digital photos of the drawings to VoiceThread and recorded narration of them. The thread was shared with families, who could comment.
  • Using StoryKit to build classroom community: A child new to the community entered the class. She and her family created a family story using StoryKit, and shared it with the class to help them get to know her. The story created opportunities to compare family routines and traditions. (StoryKit was originally designed for the iPhone/iPod Touch, but can also be used on the iPad.)
  • Using StoryKit to explore multiple perspectives: A child took photos at home with the iPad. She constructed a story of the photos with StoryKit. Her mother was given the same photos in the same order and created a separate story. Children were able to compare the two stories to explore how different people view the same photos differently.

Bonnie Blagojevic - Collaborations and Explorations: Making Connections Using Technology

Warren Buckleitner-

NYTimes posts:

CTR: and CTR's twitter feed @childtech

Dust or Magic:

I post information related to my ECE training at