By Rose Oxana Gladysheva, a kindergartenteacher.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) have become usual things in all spheres of life. Across the past twenty five years the use of ICT has significantly changed the practices and procedures inbusiness sectors and governance. Education is a socially focused activity andquality of education has been connected with strong degrees of teachers contact with learners. But with the world moving quickly into digital information and media, the role of ICT in educationis turning to be significant and its importance will continue to grow in the 21stcentury. The field of education hasbeen affected by ICT, which has affected learning, teaching and research . ICT has potential to innovate, enrich and deepen skills, to motivate and engage learners , to help connect school experience with work practices. Scholars Zhao and Cziko in their article ”Teacher adoption of technology: a perceptual control theory perspective” suggest three circumstances which are vital for educators to introduce ICT into their classrooms: teachers should believe in the effectiveness of technology, teachers should believe that the use of technology will not bring any disturbance, and finally teachers should believe that they have control over technology. ICT soars the options of delivery of education and learners can access knowledge anytime and from any place.
a Russin Snegurochka greets Lion class
I can highlight two types of ICT: ICT foreducation, and ICT in education. ICT for education refers to the development of information and communication technologies designed for learning/teaching needs . ICT in education involves the adoption of general parts of ICT in the teaching /learning process. All classrooms of Huamei Kindergarten are equipped with TV screens ,touch boards, projectors and access to the internet. Keeping in mind the aims of kindergarten to emphasize speaking skills of our students and implementing IB curriculum, this semester I suggested to my senior students from Koala and Lion classes a new classroom practice : online conferences via Skype with foreign students, learning English. It is a wonderful chance for students to practice daily English with peers from abroad,to see children of a different appearance and make new friends, and finally to feel the necessity to learn English in order to communicate own ideas. Eventually this project develop intercultural understanding and communication among the students. Collaboration through technology, in our case this is Skype, enhances students’ interaction,engagement, learning and thinking skills, moreover, it can increase the flexibility and diversity of their educational experience.
I found two schools from Moscow, Russia, willing to join in this project. The Skype conference is designed for 30-minutes online session, of a split class with 15 students in a group, who come to the microphone to greet and exchange some phrases with their foreign colleagues. At the end students are supposed to sing a song, or show a dance in English and in a language of their country. Desirably such shows shall be performed with costumes to make the meeting festive and more fun.
say hello to each other
So far my students had two skype sessions. In November Chinese kids gave a performance of kong-fu, while their Russian colleagues showed a traditional dance of “Kalinka-Malinka”, wearing traditional costumes and playing a Russian musical instrument –balalaika.
kids show Kong-fu
December skype meeting was devoted to Christmas, so students sang carols and talked about Christmas presents they want to receive. Chinese students saw Snegurochka, a Father Frost’s granddaughter , who sent them best wishes from Russia. Moreover, students mailed Christmas cards to Russia and now expecting to get postcards from Russian peers too.
kids are singing carols
People from foreign countries and new cultures are much closer than we may think: no need to buy tickets and spend time on the buses or airplanes traveling to new places. What we shall do as educators is to stay flexible and creative, using given resources that benefit our students. Innovation and education create opportunities for development and globalization.