Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Introducing: Let's Talk Tech Tuesdays - Teacher Notes

If you've been following my blog or spent any time at our place, you know that the children in our care have limited access to "technology".  I try to encourage creativity and exploration through play, real unplugged play. 

We don't even have a television in the main area for our childcare. Out of sight, out of mind. As far as I'm concerned, children spend enough time watching television elsewhere, and it is not my place to make the decisions in terms of what is or is not appropriate for children to watch. (That is the job of the parent.)

That does not mean that the children have no connection to technology here. They have all become quite good at taking photos, and I use voice recording software on my phone and computer to record some of their stories and songs. We do spend time looking at photos and recalling previous activities and events. There are even a couple of programs on my computer that I allow the children to use. 

However, my primary focus in starting a weekly technology post is not to provide information in regard to the technology that the children use, but instead to provide some insight into technology for you: parents, teachers, and other child care givers. So, I have decided that Tuesdays will be Let's Talk Tech Tuesday here at Child Central Station. 

If you have a great post on helpful technology/apps/programs, etc. I'd love to hear about it!

For my first week, I am going to share an AMAZING app I found for my iphone/ipad call Teacher Notes. (I have not been able to find an android version of this app).

The free version of this app allows you to have up to 3 classes and you can record anecdotal notes for your classes based upon children, content areas, and domains. The text of your content areas and domains can be edited to meet your own labels and needs.

What I love about this ap is that with my phone, ipod touch, or ipad, I can create anecdotal notes and keep a portfolio for each of the children in my care. This ap allows me to file photos, videos, and voice recordings in addition to typed notes.  I can also sort my saved notes by child, domain or content area and email directly from the ap. I have also linked the ap through Drop Box so that I can access my notes from my computer as well! 

Taking anecdotal notes can be time consuming, and as a home based provider the question of storage and sorting the notes always comes into play. With this ap, I have no problem taking notes and recording learning moments quickly and easily! I can also easily sort the notes to look at areas that I need to encourage more exploration. 

You can learn more about this ap by visiting their youtube channel for tutorials and information. The ap is currently FREE for up to 3 classes. You can purchase an ad free version with unlimited classes for $4.99. You can also follow this app on Facebook for updates and tutorials!

Do you have a great ap or program that you use for anecdotal notes? Or do you have an ap/program that has really helped you personally or professionally? I'd love to hear about it!

If you try Teacher Notes, I'd love to hear how it is works out for you too!

Stop by again next Tuesday, when my focus will be on Tending Tots!

(Please note, the opinions expressed in this blog post are solely my own. I have not been contacted by any of the developers or owners of the apps or programs I am sharing. I am not being compensated in any way for sharing this information. I opted to share this information about the above mentioned product because I have personally found it to be helpful in my work and/or personal life.)


Anonymous said...

I love this! I am in the early phases of trying to make technology work for me and simplify my life. Just got an iPad a few days ago, and am trying to figure out apps and ways to use it. I did get Teacher Notes for the exact reason you described, but haven't had the chance to really work with it yet. I just now finished setting up Dropbox on all my devices, since you mentioned that one too! I am now looking for a planning app, but so far have not really found one that is appropriate when planning for the little ones (most are geared towards school-age and up). So a post on that would be great!

Will Savage said...

What I would have given to be able to have some of the technology and resources these kids have today. Use them to their fullest.

My friend died

 I learned a hell of a lot from Dan Hodgins.  He was mentor, a friend, and a "bone shaker" for many of us in the field of Early Ch...