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Early Childhood: Plugging Into ICT

30 November 2005

Early Childhood: Plugging Into ICT

Early Childhood Centres that have access to digital cameras, computers, and printers, as well as high-speed internet connections, are better able to connect centres to parents and to the resources of the community, according to a new booklet launched yesterday in Manukau City by Sir Barry Curtis for the City of Manukau Education Trust (COMET).

The booklet, called Plugging into ICT: A Manukau Perspective, reports the results of research into what kinds of Information and Communications Technologies early childhood centres in Manukau currently have access to. It also sets some goals for getting centres fully connected by the end of 2006.

“The goals are very simple,” says Bernardine Vester, Chief Executive for the City of Manukau Education Trust. “They were developed by an Advisory Group of representatives from the early childhood sector. They told us how valuable digital cameras and printers are for connecting parents to their child’s learning. They also told us about how much they wanted to learn more about how to use technologies to design better learning programmes.”

The four goals are for every early childhood centre in Manukau to
(1) be connected to the internet via high-speed broadband;
(2) have access to a digital camera;
(3) have a computer for administration as well as one for learning;
(4) have professional development to build confidence in staff;
by the end of 2006.

Bernardine Vester says that the work on developing the booklet was funded by Manukau City Council through the SmartManukau strategy. “Because early childhood centres are community-based, their understanding of the potential of modern communications can ripple out to the rest of the community. The pilot at two kindergartens in Otara showed us the exciting opportunities for using ICT tools to enrich families and child learning.”

ENDS

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