Digital TV in the Lap
Mini-Maker Faire Cork

Digitising our Junior Infant

Making Sun SmileBernie Goldbach in Cashel | Photo of digital native at work 

THE FOUR YEAR OLD'S SCHOOL BAG sits under the stairs with her umbrella standing at attention and we have started the process of making part of the bag digital.

Primary schools in Ireland don't have a Kindle, iPad or Xoom on their book lists but since we have all of them we are taking a creative look at how our digital native should learn. We know the practise we attempt needs to stay off centre stage in Mia's classroom. We think the best idea might be in the realm of the copy book.

So here are specific things we are doing with Mia during her First Year in Big School. (Flickr photo set coming soon.)

1. We are asking Mia to draw things that represent New Things in Life at School. She uses several iPad apps for drawing already that allow her to upload the results to her Flickr content.

2. We want Mia to dictate captions for her artwork while we sit at her elbow. We will help her find the correct letters on the keyboard to complete the captions.

3. As she does her drawing, I want to make an Audioboo as she tells me the back story. I plan to make these audio clips available by playlist and as OPML.

4. I want to watch Mia develop a narrative of her first year so I'm using a Snapfish service on Flickr to produce post cards of her drawings. I expect Mia will push those post cards onto her wall as a storyboard of a bigger piece of work.

The key feature of this little initiative is I want to guide Mia towards creating content with the €200 digital devices she might carry in her backpack. I want her teacher to watch Mia produce these pieces of content from afar or perhaps invite Mia to show her new-found friends how to make shareable things on screen.

I hope our local library (and our third level library) can load iTouches, Kindles and Nexus tablets to students. All of these devices can be sourced at the €200 price point. When used to create and share, they extend the traditional classroom into spaces that could easily spark a new classroom dynamic.

School starts on September 3, 2012. Please let me know if you are interested in listening, watching or producing with your kids, nieces, nephews or grandchildren.

Posted to Typepad using the iOS app, one coffee and one apple scone in O Tuamas of Clonmel, Ireland.

Adrian Weckler -- "Goodbye books, hello iPad?" in the Sunday Business Post, August 19, 2012.

Bernie Goldbach tracks things related to edtech.