Today Mr. Lill brought his 9th grade writing class to visit all the ECLC1 classes. The 9th grade students worked with the children practicing taking photos with the iPads. Today was also the first day that the ECLC1 students used iPads this school year.
Today’s visit marks the beginning of our cross campus community collaboration project. The project’s aim is to promote the use of technology in the early years in an authentic way, that supports learning. As a teacher, I do not believe that they best way to integrate technology in the early years is to spend time on apps or engrossed in “screen time”. I hope that my young students will develop an understanding that technology can be used to document their learning and can be used to make connections within their community (school or world wide) to share and collaborate throughout their learning journey.
The 9th graders gave the children simple instructions on how to take a good photo. They asked the children what they wanted to photograph, told them to hold the iPad still, count to 3 and push the button. The 9th graders proved to be great mentors during this activity. They were kind and patient and understood that they needed to be responsible for supervising their younger buddies. The 9th graders used engaging and encouraging words throughout the photo taking, praising the children for trying their best.
Later in the classroom, the 9th graders had a reflection session with their small buddies. They asked them what they thought of their photos. The older students went beyond just asking the children if they liked their photos but engaged the children in higher thinking questions. “Do you remember why you wanted to take this photo?” “Did you mean to include the person in the background?” “Did you hold the iPad still or is this photo too shaky.”
ECLC teachers were impressed with the level of maturity and responsibility that the 9th grade students showed. I think that the 9th graders were also impressed with how capable the 3 and 4 year olds actually are. It seemed that all the students enjoyed their time together. It also seems that connections within our school community have begun to grow!
We will meet up with our 9th grade buddies later this school year. After the children have some time to practice photo taking, they will choose one favorite photo. We will share that photo with the high school art students, who will create representing artwork. That same shared photo will be given to the 9th grade writing class, who will compose a piece of written work. We will go to visit both classes at the Bayside campus in the new year.
In March the great unveiling of the collaborative community project will be showcased to the whole school community during the week of ECLC’s Learning Comes Alive.