All posts by HollyMahogany

The final count down. . . almost!

Coming to the end of things seems kind of bitter sweet. It has been a long road, but it has truly helped to shape the way this thesis will go. With all I have learned within this masters program I am trying to apply it to my thesis and this will be a great way to show all I have learned and retained.

Over the break I was able to sit down with not only my kids, 3 under 5, but also my younger cousins who range between the ages of 4-8, to see how they organically interact with technology, and what they deem mot important from technology. I did not want to interfere while I observed these times over break because I simply sat and collected information on the ways in which I noticed they most used technology.

They all have tablets which are Amazon kid tablets, so they are focused around learning, games, and fundamental skills, but each was able to access what they liked the most and I noticed that through these devices learning seemed to be more fun to them, which enticed them to do it more. Over time I noticed how my 1 year olds, who are turning 2 in April, where able to grasp the ways the open their tablet when they wanted to access it, and not knowing what they were clicking, but always found a way to get through different apps. saw that when they were playing certain games their attention span was much more focused on their game then when they played some with less focus. All this is detailed in my observation log, which I plan to incorporate in my blogs.

For my outline this semester I have mapped out a plan to keep my focus strong through my thesis, and to meet all the goals I plan to achieve and show through my visuals. Each week I plan to post between 3-4 blogs. This will include different theories I may have, it will detail observations I have done, ideas I would like to see excited in classrooms, and much more insight on the tech side of early childhood education. I want the blog to be the center focus of my work and I plan to incorporate some of my literary findings in these post as well. I want the blog post to be casual, so anyone who reads may understand my focus and be able to make their own judgements. Mostly y blogs will be for parents of young children or even teachers who may be interested in a more tech based learning within early childhood education.

Outside of the blog post, in March I will start to prep a webspace for video content and place where I can upload different tech videos that I have found over my time in researching. I feel this will add another layer to my thesis and help explain the ways in which tech can be incorporated early on in eduction. I have found teachers on YouTube and other platforms such as Patreon and twitter who also share an interest in early tech based learning, and helping children develop digital literacy.

I also want to present an app. I want to end the project in April by presenting the idea of an app that I have that deals with tech and early childhood education skills that I deem important. I will use the data that I collected throughout this thesis process and come up with a detailed plan of an app to incorporate. It won’t be so much about creating the app as that takes time and I would need more time then we have, but I have been planning and getting an understanding of the different things I would incorporate in the app for early childhood education.

When May roles around I feel with those three elements I will have a complete thesis, with some improvements here and there of course, but I feel confident that these are all goals I a m able to achieve, as I have been working on them throughout the break.

The End . . . For Now.

As I finish up my thesis in progress work to close up this semester I Must say this process has been completed with ease. What I thought would be very overwhelming turned out to actually be something I have completed and can be proud of my work thus far. I can truly see how this thesis is coming along and shaping up to be a work I can be proud of and can be useful to me for years to come.

I hope my efforts are presented well and with next semester right around the corner I will be taking our break to revise the work I have done and add some thoughts from others to my work.

I am excited to see what next semester brings and what else I can add to this thesis to really bring it to life. Most of my break will be spent thinking of new ideas for specially where I will present this work. I am looking at creating a website, which goes along with my tech forward thesis, and linking other pieces into this website. With a multi modal approach I feel this will be the best way to truly capture my thesis idea and bring life to it.

For now I am satisfied with the work I have done and feel I am right on track to start next semester fresh and finish out the rest of my these work strong !

Wrapping Up

With the semester quickly coming to end I can honestly say this has been a great thesis experience. Overall my time management has improved throughout the semester with the realistic expectations I have se for myself. This thesis in progress completion seems very much attainable now as we come to the end, at first I was a little overwhelmed.

At this point and finalizing my actual literature review, still with a fe questions which I will ask later in class today. My annotated bibliography is almost complete. I still have 7 sources that I need to create paragraphs for explaining how they connect to my work.

Over the break I am going to work on creating the social media aspect of my thesis. This will include finding an outlet or few I feel I can connect all together to present my ideas, writing blog post, creating videos and audio over this time as I will have my friends and family around to interview or ask questions, and also looking at other ways to present the information on technology in ECE.

Starting My Literature Review!

Last week I took the time to finalize my outline. It’s still in a rough phase but this is my second time reviewing it. I feel it is good enough for me to start working on the Literature review now and figuring out how to piece this all together. Last semester in 5002 we worked on a Literature for our research proposal and I will be takin that approach as I am comfortable and familiar.

This week I am going to start working on my introduction section and really get a good strong thesis statement solidified. My main focuses with is thesis will be the integration of technology into early childhood education and the improvement of tech tools being used as well. this gives my research so clarity, but still keeps my main topics open to many sources I can choose from.

I have confirmed 5 solid sources that I can put into my annotated bibliography to start the process on that piece of the literature review. I have about 25 sources all together to sort through, and see what I would still need to to gather. I want to do that this week along with my introduction and the start of the annotated bibliography an keep me in a rhythm if I can do about 3-4 sources a week.

Overall I am very confident in the work I plan to present in this literature review and feel I just need to now start. the writing to allow my self enough time to thoroughly edit my work and really get the key details fully expressed. This process has been a but easier than I thought it would be as I have really taken time to get into my work and have used the 5 hour a week method of working on my thesis work. The biggest issue I am noticing is organization of the sources but I feel I will eliminate this as I start the annotated bibliography and I can have my sources in one place to refer to and access. I am excited to see my final result and how this work all comes together.

Pick Up Week

Spent this week starting to organize my literature review, and looking closely at my strategy of achieving my thesis goal. Picked up more information during this week from different articles, but I am seeing how intense it can get with organizing the work you find and the places you want to be able to go back for reference. Really seeing how detailed this work will be is helping me to extra organized in my work.

I have began writing blog post in my words document on my computer so I’m rushing to have content once I pick the platform I want to use to show my work. I want that to be decided by the end of this semester so over the winter break I am Abel to start posting and creating content more consistently, with any media form I choose. A lot will be writing and just expressing the important aspects of technology in early childhood education and parenting. The coming of the education and parenting communities is what my blog will focus on with a specific focus on technology and different aspects in their realm.

Overall feeling very confident in the work that I am producing and I do see how I am able to find so much information on my topic and I am starting to find new things that spark interest to me, or I have heard nothing about. Deciding which information to keep and focus on is very relaxed due to the idea I am presenting. There are so many sub categories to touch upon and I want to chose those that most interest me. I am narrowing those down which will be how I will be presenting my literature review.

A Short Week

This week I was a busy one personally so all I was able to do was some more organization and started the actual writing of my blogs and ideas/topics fro writing. I have not solidified what platform I plan to use as of yet and I am making that a part of my research by looking at different platforms and what would be best for my work. I have updated my Thesis Google Doc to explain In more of my plan, but in short I will be creating a website where I will be using the perspective I have had as a parent, an early childhood education teacher, and as a grad student who has now spent the last year and half engaging with multiple forms of digital media platforms, for education purposes, and sees the importance of creating digital literacy patterns as early as the ages from birth to 8 years old.

I have approximately 15 solid sources so far, as I am preparing my literature review. I have not had a hard time finding information, it has more so been a challenge is going through the information and actually finding pieces I can use that don’t all sound similar or are stating the same things, I have not as of yet gone in depth with actual research on tech products for children of this age and what applications or programs work best. I noticed this as I was sorting through the information I have so my goal is to take this week to explore more of the actual tools children can use. As this relates to my blogging/ vlogging( because I am thinking of adding some vlogs/ pictures and other imagery examples to my website)

Overall this thesis will consist of two parts which will be the actual information I will be giving based on the research I do in the fields pertaining to early childhood education and teaching digital literacy. These ideas will be expressed in the second part of my project which is the actual creation of the website, the content ( which will be my ideas, scholars evidence surrounding the field, vlogs, other forms of of literature or digital art forms). I will be doing some interviews as well with other parents that I am familiar with, b ut have never had these conversations with them. I feel these will be posted on the website it will make for great content.

Building A Perspective

This week will pretty short with my blog post, as I plan to take our class time, and the rest of this week to starting bringing forth new ideas to my thesis. Doing more research last week I found 7 more articles that relate and I am in the process of going through them to find what I need and don’t need. I have done a good job so far of keeping the information I find organized. I can see how later I mat possibly end up not knowing where a specific piece of literature is as I start complying for my literature review. I am attempting to find specific quotes and cite them now so I know exactly where to look. The issue is not yet knowing -exactly what I might say or it where it will fit is the issue. I can see that as I now have about 15 solid sources ( I know should be more by now probably, but these are the ones I feel very strongly about as of now) , I may just want to find some way to track my work through the chapters or specific passages from he works I am reading.

Our discussion last week was very helpful as it truly helps me know I am heading int he right direction when someone says exactly what I am thinking. Creating a platforms for moms (or parents) was starting to cross my mind as I wanted to find a way to incorporate that parenting is so vast as each child is unique and it is important to hear the different aspects. With this thinking I have solifided that I have to look at eh realm of early childhood instead being so specific and looking at preschool, because this was to specific in the study, and I felt I was making my information search to narrow. Hearing the prerspectives of different parents from the early childhood age group can depth to my research.

I feel that I want to create a space where I can incorporate the use of technology with early childhood education by having a place where information not he latest tools are available, parents have a forum for questions, and of course showcasing how technology in this part of development can be helpful in the Childs development process. As I stated last week, taking this to a school perspective left too many gaps for question, but presenting this from a mom perspective leaves room for others to contribute their ideas. My suggestions and research are not the end all be all, but will give great insight into how this can help teachers with curriculum learning, parents keep up with curriculum learning at home, and how to gage a Childs development through the use of technology when it comes to education.

The rest of this week I will spend some time finding a few more sources for my literature review. Aside from that I will explore some platforms where I where I can bring my ideas to life. I want to see what my options are when presenting this work. I want to refine the information I am gathering and have a second look at my rough outline and add and take away what I don’t need based not he change I have made int he way I am presenting my work. I want to looking some education technology tools that are used in schools, and even some early childhood schools ( in or outside of the United States) where they are using tech tools to teach.

A New Viewpoint

This week was interesting to say the least. I sorted through the information I am using and tried organizing my beginning thoughts so I can move forward collecting my next set of information. I want to collect information in sets and go through them and then start another set of information until the end of this process. Then I may have themed groups of my information.

A new viewpoint came about this week which changed my direction a little, or helped me bring my concept more into focus. Last week I came to grips with understanding that I do not want to present a proposal, but this is more of a creative understanding of the passion I have for working with children and having learned all about new innovative tech teaching tools and finding a creative way to merge these two that is within guidelines of todays teaching standards.

I have trapped myself slightly, but for this same reason it works for me . My oldest being in preschool for the first time gives me a new perspective of school, and I will use this approach as a parent to speak about it.. I have seem it from a teachers perspective, of course from a students perspective, but now as a parent I have a slightly new outlook and will continue to gain more as the year progresses.

I knew I always wanted to be a teacher growing up, but after having my first child my idea shifted to opening my own. Somewhere to start a business foundation for myself , so this is where the spark and drive was to be determined to complete my vision from. I feel safest talking from a parent perspective and adding my input in other ways because this is a role I play everyday and am able to adapt in, and confirm off of experience.

This week I had a turn, or a pivot, in my research as my own daughter made me question my own theory in a way. I forget that although I am very good at parental controlling what my daughter watches on her iPad there are other ways that sometimes she may have access to things I don’t allow. The internet is so vast with everything to show and it is nearly impossible once someone is given access to this vessel to completely block everything. A regular video showed off of actors and actresses dressed up as character from my little mermaid. All seems well until long story short I hear Ariel is about to deliver her baby and needs to get back to the sea. Safe to safe what I heard made me go watch and a very innocent looking video almost changed my mind. This has happened before but this situation really clicked with me because of me working on this thesis about this very topic.

Although I did not gather any new information this week sorting through the info I already have and really sitting and thinking of what I truly want o express with this thesis was very much needed. I was starting to feel a bit stuck, but just being able to find a position satisfied me and made me really see the direction I am going in this process.

So I Started an Outline . . .

This week I have chosen to do a rough outline just to start putting together how I want to present this idea. I am not exactly creating a business plan completely, but I am focusing on a Part 1 and Part 2. This semester I will be completing part 1 which will be me creating a curriculum.

Staying focused on NJ as the location to implicate my model of a curriculum, because I live here currently and I have a general idea of what the early childhood education curriculums looks like at the preschool level, because I have worked int he field before and have kids of my own which has given me a closer insight into the the early parts of development for children, in a personal way. This is what peaks my interest with my topic as it relates to my everyday life, and has always interested me .

My main focus this week was looking at the different pdf’s on this site https://www.nj.gov/education/earlychildhood/preschool/, which has multiple pdf’s, have insightful information on different curriculums in NJ, how the teaching preschool system works in NJ, the standard that have been set, and the rules to follow when opening a center (or just looking at a classroom). This information provided the basis of where I started my research and what I started deeming most important to highlight at this stage in my thesis work. The website provides many informative perspectives of preschool education as a whole. 2 pdfs listed below:

Psteachingguidelines.pdf

Technologyguidance.pdf

These last few weeks as I settled into my idea I was starting to feel like I may overwhelm myself, because I wasn’t able to find topics as I was thinking I would. being that that I picked education as my topic and more specifically creating my own curriculum and model of a classroom, I began thinking I may have picked a topic that might get me stuck at some point. This week I focused more on finding the basics, which may set me back a little with research, but it has opened up the idea of my outline and how I plan to tackle this thesis.

Since I am in the process of understanding the preschool education system, on the first part of my outline I have noted that I want to talk briefly on why education is important to me. This will give my audience an understanding of why I choose this topic, and highlight some key reason other educators may care. I want go more in depth on why I have chosen this particular grade/ age level, and why it matters most to me and also what matters most in the process of creating a curriculum on my own. How will this do amongst the other NJ curriculums.

I will discuss the curriculums that are currently being used, in New Jersey specifically, and why they are successful with preschools across NJ. This will be a bulk of Part 1 because this will help guide me as I create my own curriculum. There are currently 4 that are in use in NJ preschools. Which is Connect4 Learning, The Creative Curriculum , High scope Preschool Curriculum, and lastly Tools of the mind. I have started explaining these generally within my google doc very briefly .

The note taking process at first was a little difficult, as I wasn’t really sure what direction I wanted to go in when it came to my topic, I just knew what it related. Now that I know I want to create my own curriculum example , with intention to focus on preschool and technology use within classrooms. Creating digital literacy is one focus, but not sole. I feel more selections will come to mind as I go through my starting points. I found a pdf that directly speaks of technology use in preschools specifically in NJ. Another focus could possibly be the reading and writing aspects as it pertains to digital and non-digital learning tools. This will tie in my understanding of English and how it is important in early childhood curriculum and and be a critical part in overall development.

Having created a citation page along with my my rough outline to guide my use of my sources has been created in google doc. This way I manage to know which sources will go with what topics to begin with. Created a computer folder of all the pdf’s that I have so far totaling 10. I know at some point I may need to create micro folders for each each section of my outline. My note taking process seems as though it is funneling as we spoke about last week.

I’m attaching my google doc of the outline that I have started here. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1iHgTaioapmO9bVqWWDxWjWwK0p0jasQRAzmUt9Pxv0A/edit?usp=sharing Building on this google doc each week as I discover new research will eventually turn into docs I feel that will be hyperlinked for the complete project, I’m just weary hyperlinks because they sometimes do not always open for me. I feel the hyperlink method to other parts or sections of my work will be the best way to present and keep things organized.

As I continue to build on this each time I feel it will come together nicely as a creative proposal if that makes sense. Splitting it into parts helps to assure that I cover the necessary areas to explain why I feel this is such an asset to the early child field, as well as the English field when it comes to beginner readers and writers, and seeing things from the teachers perspective.

Overall this experience is getting a bit easier since starting to use the funnel method as we discussed in class prior. I felt I was having an issue at first exactly understanding what I wanted to communicate which made my topic seem to general, but now with further insight I have narrowed down some of my key elements for my thesis.

Falling Into the Right Season.

Last weeks library experience was very helpful when it comes to the research for this extensive thesis we are all working on. I always remember how important the library is when I get there and can see all of the ways in which information can be processed. Craig Anderson did a wonderful job showing us some helpful tricks and tips to exploring and also narrowing our research into the direction we are choosing to take it. The database can really give a broaden version of what you may be looking for, but as researchers we are able to shuffle and discard what we don’t need, and find the true gems that can help us create our thesis.

I feel that I will actually be using Union and Maplewood’s public libraries along with Kean’s to get the information I am looking for. I don’t want everything I research to come from the internet, even though some will, but I want to challenge myself with the collection of my data and broaden how I do my research. I feel that I have used the internet and databases to my advantage thus far in the grad program, but I want to step out of my comfort zone little and see what more information I can discover.

As I continue to research my topic I see if won’t be hard to find information on technology use in classrooms, What I am finding most difficult is the preschool aspect I have within my topic. I want to focus mainly on preschool & Kindergarten, because to me these are the fundamental stages in school for children, and I feel a lot can be learned if applied correctly and adequately.

I want to give a shout out to Gianna because she sent me a really good link last week that connected to my topic. She sent me a link to an instagram page by a woman named Brittany Washburn who teaches a tech curriculum, which really ties into my topic of the idea that tech should be an apart of the curriculum. She focused more on middle school and high school students, but I was still intrigued scrolling on her page, and I liked a bunch of her techniques, so she gained a follow from me. This led me to all of the ads and emails I get about how to incorporate these tech learning tools onto my Children’s iPad, where I spend obscene amounts in monthly charges to accommodate them. I have seen personal progression with my children using the tech tools with intention and purpose which has created my view.