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Thursday, January 15 • 10:20am - 11:20am
Meaningful Media Use in Early Education

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Summary: Many people are both excited by the possibilities for educational benefits and concerned for the potential negative effects from media (over)use, especially when it comes to the lives of young children. This session includes an overview of four activities aimed at fostering the development of young children’s early literacy skills using media in meaningful ways. Activities include: digital photography, creating an audiobook, storytelling with technology (using laptop and iPad), and exploring a media literacy library. After reviewing the activities and student examples, participants will have an opportunity to explore the tools. This is a hands-on opportunity for early childhood educators to learn ways to nurture screen savvy kids.

Learning Objectives
- Participants will learn multiple ways to explore media in early education settings.
- Participants will explore digital tools including a laptop, tablet, and CDs
- Participants will walk away with four specific activities using media that they can implement in an early education setting

Overview of Activities from “My First Media Adventure”
Books on CD - This activity is designed for a child and an adult to complete together. At this station, participants will create an audio book. Adult/child pairs read and record a story using a noisemaker (bell, maraca, jingle bells) to signal page turns (great as a paired activity). As the adult reads and records their voice on the computer or other recording device, the child uses their noisemaker to signal when it is time to turn the page. Facilitators help burn the story onto CD, and then the child gets to take the book and CD home. This activity works best when a child has access to a simple, inexpensive CD player at home. Preschool aged children can learn how to operate CD players and handle CDs with care, and can practice reading along with the CD in their new book. [Skills developed: Familiarity with technology (computers, audio recording software), literacy skills (book knowledge); At home: Addition to home library, familiarity with technology (CD players), practice “reading” on their own]

Storytelling with Technology - At this station, participants will learn two ways to encourage children to be active users of screens by using computers and tablets as tools to tell their stories. In this activity, an iPad and a laptop are used to encourage a child to tell a story, which the adult will transcribe using either the iPad (MyStory) or the laptop (Microsoft Office). When the activity is done on the laptop, the adult can print the story for the child to illustrate and keep as a hard copy. In the tablet version of the activity, the child can record their voice and their story can be emailed to friends and family. [Skills Developed: Familiarity with technology (iPad, computer), literacy skills (storytelling)].

Exploring a Media Literacy Library - A variety of books about media will be available to explore. The prompts at the beginning of each book offer an opportunity to explore the topics covered in more detail. Participants can discuss the books included in the library, as well as, share ideas for other books and media that they might want to include in their media literacy libraries. [Skills Developed: Literacy skills (book knowledge), exposure to various media literacy concepts in storybook content (family media management, film-making, advertising, etc.)]

Digital Photography - At this station, participants explore digital photography as a tool in early education. After exploring samples from children that have completed this activity, participants will have the opportunity to take a few photos and choose one to print on the photo printer. Children also decorate frames with crayons and markers for this activity. Workshop facilitators are available to help print photos. [Skills Developed: Familiarity with technology (digital cameras, photo printer), appreciation for technology as tool for creativity, basic photography concepts (framing, light, subject matter)]


avatar for Jennifer Ladner

Jennifer Ladner

Communication and Media Consultant, Screen Savvy Kids
Jennifer Ladner, M.S. and Jessie Trowbridge, M.A. are the co-founders of Screen Savvy Kids, a media literacy consulting company based in Central MA. Dedicated to providing support to parents, children, and educators to develop and enhance children's media literacy skills, we assist... Read More →
avatar for Jessie Trowbridge

Jessie Trowbridge

Children's Media Consultant, Screen Savvy Kids
Jessie and Jennifer are media literacy educators. Jessie holds a MA in Child Development and Jennifer holds an MS in Applied Communication. Screen Savvy Kids is dedicated to providing support to parents, children, and educators to develop and enhance children's media literacy skills... Read More →

Thursday January 15, 2015 10:20am - 11:20am
302 303 Homestead Ave, Holyoke, MA 01040
  • Participant Skill Level All