“I can’t use a computer” Early Childhood Documentation and Planning for the Digital Immigrant


“I can’t use a computer” Early Childhood Documentation and Planning for the Digital Immigrant

“A digital immigrant is an individual who was born before the widespread adoption of digital technology. The term digital immigrant may also apply to individuals who were born after the spread of digital technology and who were not exposed to it at an early age. Digital immigrants are the opposite of digital natives, who have been interacting with technology from childhood.” (https://www.techopedia.com/definition/28139/digital-immigrant)

I am a digital native. I have grown up around computers and technology, and have had a passion for them for as long as I can remember. As soon as I entered the world of Early Childhood Education, I wanted to share this passion with the children and colleagues with whom I worked.

I entered the Early Childhood Education sector at a time of great change for the industry: the EYLF was just about to be released, and the NQS was looming on the horizon. Change was coming to all aspects of the industry, and documentation and planning seemed to be lagging behind.

I was soo excited when I learnt of Kinderloop, and couldn’t wait to explore it! A platform that would allow educators to record children’s growth through pictures, movies and observations; evaluate them in the same space; provide quick and easy updates on the educational program; and to share that with families on a secure site, with an app for phone and tablet! Amazing! That first login was magical! The possibilities for engagement were endless! The challenge was to share my passion with fellow educators and nurture their engagement.

At each centre there are a variety of personalities and learning types within the educational team. Within my setting there were a number of educators who were quite excited to be programming and documenting children’s learning journeys on a computer/tablet, and others who wanted to continue the hand-written jottings that had been our planning system. Some educators took it upon themselves to explore the site, have a few test posts and just run with it for the most part. Others enjoyed the videos and guides available online (http://kinderloop.com/help.html), and found it useful to discuss the possibilities as a group before diving in.

Of the learning types, there was a clear divide between the “digital natives” like me and the “digital immigrants” who claimed they had no confidence with a computer and were sure that they were going to break something.

With a lot of hand-holding, wonderful help documents, a user friendly interface, and practice, all of the educators gained confidence in using Kinderloop. The educator that first told me “I’ll never be able to do that; I can’t use computers” became the most prolific poster!

Parent engagement increased dramatically as families were able to see in very near real-time what their children were exploring on any given day, follow long-term projects and contribute their ideas quickly to centre life.

Educators noticed a reduction in the amount of double handling of photos, with a reduction in the number of photos printed. Children’s learning was documented quickly and efficiently, with follow-ups recorded instantly. Over time, the depth of information gathered was able to assist us in keeping up to date with our improvement goals.

With Kinderloop, any educator can become a digital native and share their passion for educating children with colleagues and families!

Kate – Early Childhood Teacher.