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Unleashing early childhood educators’ creative abilities

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A cohort of early childhood education students recently had the opportunity to expand their technology skills and flex their creative ability with the support of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. A group of 39 students took part in workshops held at innovation hub Unleash Space, learning how to utilise the equipment to design and create early childhood education resources.

A child’s early years lay the foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.  Quality early childhood education is fundamental to development and the University of Auckland is world-leading in its Education training, ranking in the top 50 Education faculties in the world. The student teachers experience at Unleash Space was facilitated by Early Childhood Programme Leader Shareen Sapsworth and colleague Jacoba Matapo as part of their efforts to constantly reinvigorate their world class programme. Shareen says “We had heard about the Unleash Space and were excited about the opportunity this presented our students to use a space where they would have access to resources and technology along with the guidance of  Creative Technologists to support them with their learning and in designing and creating a resource as a part of their assignment task.”

Shareen and Jacoba worked with Unleash Space Manager Sean Kelly to incorporate tutorial time in the space, resourcing materials and support for students.  Their experience at Unleash Space formed part of integrative assessments centred on development of a play resource for young children. A vast array of resources were designed and created including puzzles, boxes and puppets. Shareen says “They learnt a lot about different technology and equipment that they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to use. Students found this challenging though rewarding.”

The resources that were created by students using Unleash Space were presented in an exhibition attended by practising teachers and young children. Feedback from ECE teachers, children and colleagues who attended the exhibition expressed the value of seeing students engaging in an assessment task in such a meaningful and authentic way.

This was the first time a course within the Faculty of Education and Social Work had partnered with Unleash Space to engage students with innovation technologies in the Maker Space. With the New Zealand education curriculum changing to incorporate technology at its core there is plenty of demand and scope to increase collaboration going forward.

Unleash Space Manager Sean Kelly says “Our team are dedicated to creating opportunities for University students and staff to increase their confidence and capability with technology for a wide variety of applications. With educators increasingly in need to upskill in technology to a point where they can educate others in tech, we are looking forward to further opportunities to support cutting-edge technology teaching and learning.”

James Hutchinson
James Hutchinson

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A cohort of early childhood education students recently had the opportunity to expand their technology skills and flex their creative ability with the support of the Business School’s Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. A group of 39 students took part in workshops held at innovation hub Unleash Space, learning how to utilise the equipment to design and create early childhood education resources.

A child’s early years lay the foundation for lifelong learning and wellbeing.  Quality early childhood education is fundamental to development and the University of Auckland is world-leading in its Education training, ranking in the top 50 Education faculties in the world. The student teachers experience at Unleash Space was facilitated by Early Childhood Programme Leader Shareen Sapsworth and colleague Jacoba Matapo as part of their efforts to constantly reinvigorate their world class programme. Shareen says “We had heard about the Unleash Space and were excited about the opportunity this presented our students to use a space where they would have access to resources and technology along with the guidance of  Creative Technologists to support them with their learning and in designing and creating a resource as a part of their assignment task.”

Shareen and Jacoba worked with Unleash Space Manager Sean Kelly to incorporate tutorial time in the space, resourcing materials and support for students.  Their experience at Unleash Space formed part of integrative assessments centred on development of a play resource for young children. A vast array of resources were designed and created including puzzles, boxes and puppets. Shareen says “They learnt a lot about different technology and equipment that they otherwise would not have had the opportunity to use. Students found this challenging though rewarding.”

The resources that were created by students using Unleash Space were presented in an exhibition attended by practising teachers and young children. Feedback from ECE teachers, children and colleagues who attended the exhibition expressed the value of seeing students engaging in an assessment task in such a meaningful and authentic way.

This was the first time a course within the Faculty of Education and Social Work had partnered with Unleash Space to engage students with innovation technologies in the Maker Space. With the New Zealand education curriculum changing to incorporate technology at its core there is plenty of demand and scope to increase collaboration going forward.

Unleash Space Manager Sean Kelly says “Our team are dedicated to creating opportunities for University students and staff to increase their confidence and capability with technology for a wide variety of applications. With educators increasingly in need to upskill in technology to a point where they can educate others in tech, we are looking forward to further opportunities to support cutting-edge technology teaching and learning.”


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