This week I had the opportunity to take part in my own new technology experience. I consider myself to be a digital native so it was a great challenge to have to figure out something new and foreign.
I contributed in a Tweetchat where my Children and Technology class gathered together to discuss the implications and uses of pedagogical documentation. It was a fast paced hour where questions were introduced, debates took place and responses were given.
Overall, there was a very positive response to the idea of pedagogical documentation in the classroom. I believe it is important because it is a way in which we can see learning happen and showcase that learning to children and families. An Ontario government document on pedagogical documentation advocates the benefits of documentation for children.”When students are active participants in the documentation, they come to learn more about their own thinking. Through pedagogical documentation, they can develop and use metacognitive skills crucial for ongoing, lifelong learning.”(Pedagogical Documentation Revisited, 2015, p.2).
Documentation can occur on many platforms and over the years it seems that technology has proven to be a useful asset for educators to display learning.
In most classrooms I have seen documentation in the form of children’s work displayed around the classroom. Although it does showcase the projects, they can sometimes be forgotten. Many of the other students in the Tweetchat also agreed that in many cases parents throw away the many piles of paintings, drawings and scraps of paper that get sent home in a consistent basis.
Technology has given educators a way to display learning experiences and preserve children’s work with tools such as photographs, blogs, and now even certain apps such as HiMama which give families updates on children’s progress while they are in care facilities. Children also seem to get enthusiastic about documenting and I have had children in placement who want to help photograph their work. Having children see their own progress can be motivating and fun!
Although there are many benefits to pedagogical documentation, our Tweetchat discussed some of the issues and concerns with the idea surrounding privacy and exposure, especially with digital documentation.
Many of the arguments were that children’s photographs, names and information were on display for the world to see. As we know with the internet once a picture is sent out it is hard to get it erased. Another issue discussed was how educators would be neglecting children’s needs by spending unnecessary time documenting everything.
These are valid arguments, but nowadays things like blogs and websites have privacy settings on them to keep unwanted viewers out. An educated and tech savvy educator who is using digital documentation should be aware of the privacy of their apps or blogs used. It is our responsibility as professionals to keep children and families safe. Another point to make is that parents typically have the choice of whether or not they want their child’s documentation to be accessible using technology. They have the right to say no.
The last argument was about time spent documenting. Whether through digital means or pen and paper, RECEs and educators will always have documenting to do during the day. It was never an issue in the past and I believe that technology can actually make the process easier and more timely.
In the end I believe pedigogical documentation is great and the use of digital technology a huge revolution for the classroom. Being apart of the Tweetchat was a great way to share my opinions on documentation and to hear the voices of other individuals within my classroom.
I can’t wait to take part of another one soon!
Pedagogical Documentation Revisited.(2015). Retrieved March 11, 2016, from http://edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/inspire/research/CBS_PedagogicalDocument.pdf
(all photographs used come from Pixabay a non-copyright, free image user)