Treasure trove of online education easily accessible

The coronavirus pandemic has meant the creation of all manner of education resources, and early childhood teachers can benefit from this wealth of new material. IEU journalist Monica Crouch rounds up a few (hopefully) useful resources.

Teachers have done an extraordinary job of adapting resources previously delivered face-to-face for an online context. Some have found this a way to keep connected with children and families who are not attending the service.

Delivering early childhood education online comes with its own unique set of challenges: young children have short attention spans; they’re unlikely to “take turns” on Zoom; and screentime is a whole other conversation.

But one upside is that teachers everywhere can access the ideas and resources created by some of Australia’s much-loved and highly respected institutions.

Here are a few ideas covering both the online process and useful resources:

  • The Early Education Show explores what remote learning means for young children. Together with Jo Grimmond and Martha Johnson of the University of Wollongong’s Early Start team, the show examines what remote learning looks like in the early years and how preschools and centres can stay connected during isolation.
  • Community Early Learning Australia (CELA) investigates how teachers in China and Italy engaged with families during isolation.
  • CELA has compiled a strong collection of resources from around Australia.
  • The ABC has expanded its education offering, working with state and territory education departments and other education providers to deliver curriculum-linked content for children of all ages. The platform offers a specific section for early childhood teachers.
  • The National Gallery of Victoria offers activity sheets and e-books for drawing and encouraging creativity in children.
  • The Australian Museum has created “Inside Out” to ensure science and culture remain accessible through virtual tours, online exhibitions and school resources, including the ever popular “Dinosaurs and their relatives”.
  • The Australian National Maritime Museum offers activities developed specifically for “curious minds and little fingers”.
  • Prosper Education offers tailored lessons for young children both in the classroom and at home, including lesson plans, digital story books and original songs.