Foundations for Discovery Fact Sheet
Foundations for Discovery Fact Sheet
Foundations for Discovery is available on www.minedu.govt.nz
The ECE ICT Framework, Foundations for Discovery, sets out to assist the early childhood education (ECE) sector to harness the potential of information and communications technologies (ICT) in a considered and planned way to support effective learning and teaching. It also aims to support services to make informed decisions about investment in and use of ICT in early childhood education, be it for teaching, learning, administrative or information management purposes.
The ECE ICT Framework sets out key principles for consideration by services when they are planning to use ICT. It includes five Strategic Focus Areas that encompass the priorities for children, ECE educators, ECE administrators, and government, as well as the opportunities for action by the sector and the support to be provided by government, as partners in ECE.
As part of Budget 2005 the government announced a $16 million package that will support the development of ICT capability in the sector over the next four years.
Strategic Focus Area 1: Working in Partnership and Collaboration
This recognises the opportunities that exist for information sharing between services and parents/families, with the Ministry of Education, as well as other services, schools and the wider community. ICT can also be used by services to build more collaborative relationships with parents that can enhance learning outcomes. Collaborative arrangements can reduce costs and duplication of effort in the use of ICT resources and infrastructure. ICT can also provide the sector with opportunities for online discussion and networking through the participation in online communities of practice.
support development in this area the government will:
1. Develop standards and guidelines to support compatibility of software applications;
2. Assist the development of ECE networks by supporting “clustering” of services for professional development;
3. Establish a strong web presence that supports and encourages the development and sharing of ICT knowledge.
Strategic Focus Area 2: Developing Professional Learning and Capability
Research indicates that developing professional capability is the most important factor in improving ICT use in early childhood education. This Strategic Focus Area recognises that the learning experiences of children are influenced by the educator’s readiness, motivation and choice of ICT tools, and when and how the educator uses these safely and effectively. It also recognises the opportunities for the sector that can arise from participation in professional development, professional online networks and ICT clusters, through access to online information and the sharing of learning about ICT with other services, and parents and families.
To support development in this area the
1. Fund regional professional development workshops;
2. Encourage and support ECE ICT clusters;
3. Provide guidance to educators to help them make informed choices about the quality and appropriateness of ECE ICT resources;
4. Provide a web presence that supports and encourages the development and sharing of ICT knowledge.
Strategic Focus Area 3: Using Research and Good Practice
This recognises the ongoing importance of development and dissemination of new knowledge and good practice about ICT use in early childhood education so that it can be used by ECE services to inform their decisions about, and use of, ICT. It also involves the opportunities for sector participation in research projects and for them to share their own experiences of ICT use. This strategic focus area also includes the development of research projects and research networks, and the support of national organisations in the monitoring of ICT use in early childhood education.
To support development in this area
the government will:
1. Develop a research plan;
2. Support research into ICT in ECE;
3. Disseminate new research and good practice, for example, through videos of ICT use in early childhood education.
Strategic Focus Area 4: Supporting ICT Resources, Curriculum Materials and Exemplars
This recognises the opportunities provided by ICT use to develop and increase access to resources and curriculum materials that support ECE teaching practice, and the principles and strands of Te Whâriki (ECE Curriculum). It involves the ECE sector considering opportunities to enable staff, and parents and families to access web materials and information, as well as looking at their own access to online information and opportunities to participate in professional online networks. It also involves services building an understanding so that they can critique ICT resources and supports the development of and access to materials in different languages.
development in this area the Government will:
1. Make existing resources and materials available online;
2. Prepare new online curriculum resources, including Mâori language resources.
Strategic Focus Area 5: Building Infrastructure, Systems and Standards
A key element of implementing the ECE ICT Framework will be supporting ECE services and organisations as they build ICT infrastructure, e-administration systems and related support. This strategic focus area recognises the opportunities for the ECE services to share knowledge about ICT equipment and systems with other services, and for the sector to develop ICT policies related to services’ visions, and specific community needs and aspirations. It also supports services to consider sector guidelines and research before investing in ICT.
To support development in this area the government
1. Reduce manual data entry requirements for licensing and funding with the development of the Ministry of Education’s new IT system EdInfo;
2. Provide guidelines to inform ECE services’ decisions in the areas of: health and safety, including Internet Cybersafety; management systems; and selection of ICT equipment;
3. Establish a national Helpdesk to provide independent advice;
4. Develop standards for ICT in early childhood education;
5. Facilitate access to cost-effective systems and software.
Foundations for Discovery Q&A
Q. What is the ICT Framework for early childhood education?
A. Entitled Foundations for Discovery, the ECE ICT Framework is a resource to guide the early childhood education sector’s developments with information and communications technologies (ICT). It sets out an overall vision and guiding principles for the use of and investment in ICT in an early childhood education setting.
The framework for development is not mandatory. It aims to support sector developments. Five Strategic Focus Areas have been identified for action by government and as opportunities for action by the early childhood education sector.
(For information on the Five Strategic Focus areas and the initiatives being funded by Government, please refer to the Foundations for Discovery Factsheet)
Q. Why develop an ICT Framework for the early childhood education sector?
A. With investment in ICT by early childhood education services likely to increase significantly over the next few years, the sector sought advice on what to investment in and on the use of ICT.
The ICT Framework sets out to assist the early childhood sector to harness the potential of ICT in a considered and planned way to support effective learning and teaching, and to support services to make informed decisions about investment in and use of ICT in early childhood education, be it for teaching, learning, administrative or information management purposes.
The Framework will provide guidance on what constitutes appropriate and beneficial uses of ICT with young children, and will guard against inappropriate and non-beneficial ICT use in the early childhood education sector.
The ICT Framework supports the achievement of the sector’s ten-year strategic plan, Ngâ Huarahi Arataki: Pathways to the Future, in particular improvements in quality early childhood education and the promotion of collaborative relationships.
Q. What are the benefits of ICT use in early childhood education settings?
A. Children have the
opportunity to experience enhanced learning opportunities
through the meaningful use of ICT, which will enable them to
strengthen relationships (with adults and other children),
and broaden their horizons through exploration of the wider
world. The effective use of ICT can support learning for
children from diverse cultural backgrounds.
For educators ICT increases and improves access to professional development and in-service training opportunities, access to tools and resources to assist teaching practice, and the development of stronger relationships within the sector. Research from the Centres of Innovation show there are positive outcomes for children when educators have in-depth knowledge on the use of ICT.
For early childhood education service management and administrators, ICT use can assist the efficient management and administration of the service, including streamlining administrative workloads.
For parents and whânau ICT can help build stronger and more collaborative relationships with services and schools through the sharing of information and more appropriate use of ICT. The effective use of ICT can enhance and promote Te Reo Mâori and support kaupapa Mâori in whânau-based learning.
Q. What is the timeframe for delivery of the ICT Framework?
A. The ICT Framework will be implemented, monitored and evaluated over the next four years, at which time it will be reviewed to accommodate the rapid nature of ICT change.