Showcasing Transformative Technologies: Empowering Learning with Emergent and Innovative Tools


NAEYC 2013 Annual Conference Presentation:

(Thursday, November 21, Washington DC)
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Mark Bailey: Professor, Pacific University, Oregon. Director Pacific University Child Learning and Development Center. baileym@pacificu.edu

Bonnie Blagojevic: Early Childhood Education Consultant, Morningtown Consulting, Apple Distinguished Educator, Adjunct Faculty University of Maine, bonnieblagojevic@me.com

Diane Bales: Associate Professor, Human Development and Family Science, and Human Development Specialist, Cooperative Extension,The University of Georgia, dbales@uga.edu

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 - Showcasing Transformative Technologies: Empowering Learning with Emergent and Innovative Tools
For access of my tech tool Webpage, please click on this icon external image ipad2.jpg or go the the following URL: http://fg.ed.pacificu.edu/cldc/techtools.html

My overarching theme: Listen, Go Deep, Empower

  • Listen to the children, All their languages, written, danced, drawn, spoken, or acted out.
  • Recognize what they are working on and look to support that work.
  • Intentionally select the tools that will best enhance that work
  • Empower their learning by enabling them to do new things, to push the boundaries of the possible, to extend their zone of proximal development and enable transformative learning experiences.
Here is a link to the Early Learning Community: Our school in Oregon
An example of powerful blogging from our school (the dolphins and sharks are preschool, the Whales are kindergarten)

After more than a decade of careful and thoughtful work, the revised Joint NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center position statement on technology was unveiled last year. Thanks to the work of Chip Donahue, Roberta Schomburg and countless others, it is a marvelous synthesis of research on development, pedagogy and technology.
At the core is the notion that digital technologies are another form of manipulative material that can empower children’s learning. That child initiated, child directed, teacher supported, intentional play with digital devices, can serve as a powerful and positive learning experience

DIgital Microscopes are the quintessential early childhood tool
  • Effective in supporting wondering
  • Extends authentic learning
  • Empowers exploration
  • Multiple platforms
I demonstrated the Proscope Microscopes the Micro Mini is the tool that clips on to the iPad or iPhone or iPod Touch.
My presentation on Storymaking Apps noted that they are excellent as a means to
  • Inspire creativity
  • Extend learning
  • Support sharing
  • Create connections
  • Empower narrative
Engaging yet open-ended storymaking applications include: Storykit, Sago MiniDoodlecast, Book Creator
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The Titanic book with interactive CD
The work of "L." and his Kindergarten teachers is a classic example of a transmedia exploration of this topic. What I want to point out is that while it used technology, this was not about the technology.
It has been a successful learning experience because first and foremost Teachers listened to all the languages he was using. He was provided with a range of media across which to explore and represent his ideas. There was a careful and intentional selection of the digital materials that allowed him to go deep into the concepts that he was exploring, and that empowered new ways of learning.
The results are conceptual, physical, social and impactful on many other dimensions. Technology is not the Sine Qua Non: not the most important thing, use should never be only about the tool. Technology should be intentionally used to support, not supplant the important work that children are doing. Where technologies of any kind provide new opportunities and can be used intentionally to empower new ways of learning, then they are appropriate.

I would encourage you to
Listen to your students – All their languages
Encourage deep explorations that empower their learning
When appropriate, use transformative technologies that will push our conceptions of the possible
Utilize the guidance of the position statement and great resources available to you throughout the field to innovate and have fun.


Diane Bales - Using Technology Tools to Tell Family Stories and Build Classroom Community


This project, which takes place in a campus-based Child Development Lab within a mixed-age group of preschoolers, explores the use of iPads as an educational tool.

Family Involvement in Technology Use

  • Families in this program are very interested in having their children use technology.
  • Different families have different priorities about their children's technology use (e.g., some families want their children to play games tied into movies and commercial products; other parents request only non-commercial apps)
  • Children have a variety of experiences with technology outside the ECE classroom (from very little to very regular use)
  • About a third of families report that their children use technology for 2 hours per week or less; about a third report 3 - 5 hours of use, and about a third report 6 or more use (with 3 families whose children use technology between 9 and 15 hours per week)
  • Many families are happy with the amount of time their children use technology. Those who would make changes would reduce their children's use.
  • Families collaborate with classroom teachers to set up technology use guidelines
  • Teachers must balance family feedback with their knowledge of DAP, as outlined in the Technology and Interactive Media as Tools in Early Childhood Programs Serving Children From Birth Through Age 8 position statement, developed by NAEYC and the Fred Rogers Center.

iPad Projects at the Child Development Lab


Blogging (using KidBlog)
  • Teachers type children's ideas
  • Families and others comment to encourage 2-way conversation

Guided Family Storytelling
  • Photos taken at home using the iPad
  • Child selects, arranges, and narrates pictures to tell a story (with teacher help)
  • Child shares his/her story with classmates during large group time
  • Apps used: VoiceThread (also available on a website), StoryKit
  • Example: Enpeng's Story
    • Child and family were recent immigrants from China
    • Child was 3 and spoke very little English, so did not speak much at all in the classroom
    • Other children believed he couldn't talk, and treated him like a much younger child
    • With the help of a Chinese tutor, Enpeng and his parents shared photos and told stories about their life (in English and Chinese)
    • When the other children heard Enpeng speaking, they began including him in play and conversation, and his English skills increased much more quickly

What We've Observed about iPad Use in the ECE Classroom (so far)


  • Children enjoy sharing family stories
  • Hearing those stories encourages children to see similarities among themselves
  • Blogging is a useful way to model meaningful writing and encourage two-way communication
  • Using technology in ECE requires both time and intentional decision-making
  • Priorities and attitudes about technology use change from year to year, depending on
    • Children's interests and experiences
    • Families' interests and experiences
    • Teachers' interests and experiences




Bonnie Blagojevic - Community Partnerships, Technology and Access to Learning


Comienza en Casa, It Starts at Home "Integrates technology use (iPads) into a curriculum that provides parents of migrant preschool and Kindergarten children with activities and information to promote their child’s school readiness at home." Learn more about this project from Mano en Mano funded by Maine Migrant Education, with emerging partnerships with the local elementary school and the Milbridge Public library.

Another consulting project-coordinating app/materials review for HITN Early Learning Collaborative (Ready to Learn grant)



Warren Buckleitner-