“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.” Malcolm X

Reflective Practice as Early Childhood Practitioner.

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  For the purpose of this post I will be critiquing the Website of PLASP Child Care Centre

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https://www.plasp.com/default.aspx

PLASP Child Care services are a not-for-profit child care providing high quality service to the communities for early learning. PLASP mission is to provide an affordable and well-managed organization accessible to many communities throughout Ontario with programs for before-after school and full day early learning child care centre’s.

PLASP Vision:  To be a world class Early Learning and Child Care Provider (PLASP, 2013)plasp webHome Page
 

The first thing that is evident when entering the website is the fact that PLASP is an award-winning child care service. This is seen on the home page of the website alongside a picture of 12 children whom are all wearing PLASP shirts. This I believe grasps the attention of many parents as it is an effective method of advertisement. Many individuals after viewing the home page will be curious to why this child care services is award-winning, what is the reasoning behind it, and are these children enjoying and learning in reality compared to other child care centres. Overall the website is well-organized and maintains a balanced structure of colors. They have chosen to use their main colors for the logo blue and yellow throughout the website. Also, apart from the logo colors there is usage of other bright colors to attract viewers. The home page also recognized an online blog that is maintained by the website which contains a slide of the most current updates. The home page I believe is targeted towards parents who can be clients for their services. The home page is well dedicated to providing the parents with child care service closer to home by using a search engine to look for schools and centres near the areas by postal code or intersection of residence. After searching for where they wish to place their child the parents can go ahead and register their child online where they are able to be placed in the school of their choice.

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Navigation

The first page also informs the parents that PLASP offers 3 different programs for various age groups. PLASP has early learning and child care centres for 18 months-5 years. Parents are also informed of PLASP before-after school programs for full day kindergarten ages 3 years 8 months to 5 years. Finally the third program that is notified to parents is the before-after school service for ages 3 years 8 months to 12 years. This information is all targeted towards parents. Another thing noticed about this website is that the PLASP blog slide show is focusing on recent events in the organization. One main event that caught my eye was an event dedicated with a special guest whom is Parenting Expert Dr. Karyn Gordon. This is an indication that the PLASP website is highly dedicated towards parents. All in all I believe that the website is a professional representation of the services provided by PLASP child care services. The website identifies all the major and minor events that take place within the organization with the use of multi-media. There are videos, pictures, and blog slides throughout the website that are used highly effectively to promote the many services PLASP has to offer.

dr gordonParent Resources- Plasp Videos

One main section that caught my eye was PLASP videos where 10 insightful questions and answers are captured in video format. This section is very well organized for parents with titles that are attracting due to the focus of the topic. The videos cover topics such as teaching skills early for success, sibling rivalry, supporting your co-parent, and getting my kids to talk to me. These are just a few of the topics that are covered within this section. The multi-media use of video in this section is highly effective for parents due to the short clips of question and answers by the parenting expert Dr. Gordon. The navigation of this website is very simple and easy. There are links on the top that guide you throughout the website with ease. You can simply go back to the home page with one click on the logo or the link labelled Home.

Recommendation for this website I would provide is shifting the focus of audience to not only parents but also educators. This would get more educators involved within the organization and also allow new educators to learn from the current staff.

The main contact for PLASP is the PLASP head office located on 121 Brunel Road Mississauga, ON L4Z 3E9 Phone: 905.890.1711 Fax: 905.890.6947 E-mail:

General Information & Parent Services childcare@plasp.com
Subsidy subsidy@plasp.com
Volunteers & Students On Placement volunteering@plasp.com
Employment Opportunities resumes@plasp.com
Fundraising

 

                                                The main contact for PLASP is the PLASP head office loacated on 121 Brunel Road Mississauga, ON L4Z 3E9

Phone: 905.890.1711 Fax: 905.890.6947

Elmo Loves ABCs – Educational Game Software Evaluation

 

Briefly describe what the software is and what it does.

Elmo Loves ABCs by Sesame Street is software for IPad is an engaging, multifunction app made for children to help learning the alphabets. The software includes different modes varying with different types of games children can enjoy playing. The games allow the children to choose letter, trace the letters, and watch video clips of objects that start with that letter. This mode allows the children to get involved in the game by coloring in the objects that were shown or play hide and seek. Another mode in the software allows children to identify and recognize letters within a group of letters (both uppercase and lowercase letters are used). The software includes the sounds that each letter makes. This mode includes a game where children can hear sounds of letters and watch a video finding the item that starts with the similar sound which was heard earlier. The software also includes a mode where the alphabet song is played by Elmo where children are invited to sing along with Elmo and friends.

 Why did you pick the educational software to review?

As an Early Childhood Educator I believe that each child is an individual learner. Each child is unique and learns differently. After browsing through many different types of software I came across Elmo Loves ABCs and discovered the many things I was looking for in a good software game for children in preschool. This software includes learning outcomes for children in regards to learning the alphabets and the sounds of each alphabet. Through this software I believe children will gain an understanding of the alphabets by recognizing the sound each alphabet makes and connecting it to items with the same letter. This software provides a well-structured learning environment for children and the multimedia allows children to choose the activities they wish to complete within the modes of the software. Overall, I believe that this software after using and reviewing it is an interactive, engaging, enjoyable game for a child that also includes many methods of learning for young children.

What do you think are the best features of the software for the childcare profession?

The best features of the software game Elmo Loves ABCs is the choices of media forms within the game. The software has varieties included such as the texts for the alphabets, picture graphics of items, animation videos of Elmo and audio of the sounds the letters make and finally we have Elmo speaking to the children about learning the alphabets. The format used by the software is highly acceptable to the classrooms of preschool children or at home care with parents and families. The children are allowed to have control over what their own learning experience will follow with. Each child has an opportunity “to select the content, methods, materials, and activities that suit their own needs, interests, and abilities” (Goynes, 2000). The software has a variety of learning potentials for children. Learning potentials for this software would include language and reading while the children recognize letters, words, names and spellings. Another learning outcome would be Creative arts where the children draw, listen to music and sing along with songs. Also, children using this software are found using skills of thinking, reasoning and communication while applying information, solving puzzles and listening. This software has several forms of interactive media built within one app.

Citizenship and Imigration Canada (1)

The article “Helping immigrant workers fit in” by Marlene Habib which appeared in the Globe and Mail published in September 2011 discusses the current situation of immigrants working in Canada. It includes options for immigrants who are seeking help and guidance to finding a job in their work fields. The article includes successful programs many individuals have taken when they were jobless, such as the bridging program at Ryerson University which helped an individual get a permanent job after a period of struggle in poverty by preparing for interviews with real employers. It further gives information to readers that there are government orientated programs such as Canadian Immigration Program which “helps workers get jobs that recognize their experience and education” (Habib, pg. 2) The article mentions how it remains an issue for many new immigrants who come to Canada to find the job they are worthy off considering their education.

I agree that it is a difficult experience when immigrating to a country which one is not aware off in the language or culture. There is an enormous amount of cultural shock and “fitting in” is a lot harder than imagined by many immigrants in Canada. Getting a job seems to be one of the harder tasks while fitting in because I feel that until an individual understands the language there is a communication barrier between people working together. With this communication barrier the employee and employer are unable to communicate in a manner where they are able understand each other.

As mentioned in the article many individuals have sent out numerous amounts of resumes to employers but receive no response. I personally have seen my father experience that even to date. He sits at a computer for hours on weekends sending resume’s to companies throughout Canada looking for a job that could complement his education and work experience. In many cases he received a response stating that he cannot be hired as an employee because he has not enough work experience in one single workplace. He has to switch jobs almost every year because they fired him or as the employer says it “they let him go”. It may be easy to lose a job as an immigrant but to get a job in the first place is the difficult task. Furthermore, it brings down ones self-esteem where they are not courageous enough and give up on life. It is difficult for an individual who was successful at a career in their “home land” but as an immigrant in Canada they are facing struggle to fit in as a worker.

In addition, I agree to this article stating that companies have begun to hire employees who are immigrants because the working industry is now more diverse. There are teachers, police officers and doctors, who are off different ethnicity working together. New immigrants continue to face a struggle because they are unable to understand the language spoken but there is a lot more guidance for them compared to individuals who did not receive any help at all. I support groups who are helping many immigrants prepare for interviews because the interview is the basic point where immigrants can prove to the employer that they are skilled and would be the best choice for the particular job. Also, this type of support encourages immigrants that they are capable of working in Canada and gives them the push towards a higher self-esteem where they can be proud of their education received from another country.

In conclusion, the article “Helping immigrant workers fit in” by Marlene Habib has stated reasonable points that are currently still an issue for the immigrants coming to Canada but there is still hope for them. Canadian immigrants are now provided with the help and aid that encourages them to excel in Canada. Many immigrants have to face struggle and difficulties in the beginning but when successful they will be a part of Canada’s large working community. As stated in the article, the help provided is a step towards building a more diverse community and a job is one of the requirements to an immigrant once living in Canada. In short, work is required in order to provide self and family with the necessities of living and providing immigrants with a job would help them live a more subtle lifestyle.

Source of Article:

Habib, M. (2011, September 29). Helping immigrant workers fit in – The Globe and Mail. Home – The Globe and Mail. Retrieved October 27, 2011, from http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/career-advice/on-the-job/helping-immigrant-workers-fit-in/article2185279/

Teacher Helping Students

In the article, “The face of education: is it too white?” by Louise Brown has included opinions of teachers, students, principles and officials from education of Peel. The article is about the diversity of teachers in schools throughout Ontario and the importance of the diversity in teachers mirroring the diversity of students attending the schools. Furthermore, the article states the achievements that many teachers and principals have accomplished through the years because they were encouraged to be a bigger part of the diverse society. The article states that the school systems are now more encouraged in hiring teachers who are of diverse ethnicity to create a diverse schooling system. The Ontario Ministry of education has stated to all the principles to reflect diversity when hiring teachers for the school. The principles are responsible of the staff provided to students and each teacher has a different contribution to the students attending the school. The article further states that insuring that there is diversity within the staff members is important because the students pursue a role model in the teachers who they are able to relate to. If the backgrounds of student and staff are relating to each other the student then feels more comfortable and can look at their teacher as a role model who has achieved a lot of success in life.

I agree that the school systems earlier were not as diverse as today. When I was in elementary school I remember that all my teachers were of the same ethnicity. However, when I went to high school Rick Hansen Secondary School I had teachers who were of different ethnicity and cultural backgrounds. The staff of teachers was more diverse; I had teachers who were from different parts of Asia. Some of my teachers were from India, China and Russia. As mentioned in the article students and teachers are able to relate to each other because of their common background experience. I agree with this because the teachers in high school that I was able to relate to were of the same background. I feel that when I was unable to relate to the teacher I would find students who had a common background with me. It is more about feeling that you are not alone out there, there is someone who shares the same background experience which you can relate to.

In addition, I agree to the article stating that even currently the staff at many schools in Ontario is not as diverse as it should be. There are still some places in Ontario where schools are limited in their diversity because not that many teachers are from different ethnicity backgrounds. The article states statistics from universities that there are not that many students who are studying to become teachers. In order to have a more diverse staff of teachers we need to be more encouraging towards the career of becoming a teacher. I feel that parents and teachers are the role models who encourage students to choose the career to pursue in their future. Personally my parents have encouraged me to become a successful teacher but I have met my friend’s parents who discourage the choice of becoming a teacher over being a doctor. My friends who want to become a teacher and be successful at the job are rejecting their choices because their parents encourage something else for the future choice in career. I agree there needs to be more diversity in the staff of many schools and in order to have that diversity in staff parents and current teachers need to encourage the career of teaching.

In conclusion, the article “The face of education: is it too white?” by Louise Brown is stating the current situation in the school system in Ontario regarding the diversity of staff members. The article discusses the importance of diversity in teachers and has included the changes that have been made in order to achieve the diversity. It states that diversity in teachers allows student and teachers to relate to each other by sharing the common experiences. School systems have taken a step to making schools a more diverse society by hiring teachers of different backgrounds. Teachers are a role model for students and students are more successful in school when they have a teacher role model present in their life. To sum up briefly, it is now the responsibility of parents and current teachers to encourage students to pursue teaching as a future career to allow the diverse teaching staff for the future in school systems.

Source of Article:

http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2011/11/18/the_face_of_education_is_it_too_white.html

Brown, L. (2011, September 18). Toronto News: The face of education: is it too white? – thestar.com. News, Toronto, GTA, Sports, Business, Entertainment, Canada, World, Breaking – thestar.com. Retrieved October 27, 2013, from http://www.thestar.com/news/article/1089372–the-face-of-education-is-it-too-white

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AGE

The generation we grow up in experiences the world in its own unique way.

A person of my age is my older brother named Ali who is one year older than me. He is the one who I shared many of my experiences of the world with such as my first day of elementary school, first time on a roller coaster, and even my first day of college. My brother is the one who guides me when I am in trouble, he supports me but like all brothers he loves to tease me whenever he has a chance.

RACE

How society views the characteristics that result from genetic similarities.

I am seen as belonging to the South East Asian race because I was born and raised in Pakistan. I have genetic similarities as many people who are from Pakistan such as my skin color of light brown, my dark brown eyes, and black hair.

NATIONALITY AND ETHNICITY

How we talk about ourselves as citizens of a certain country, or as a people with a common heritage of culture, belief and language.

As a ___Canadian Citizen__ (nationality), I have learned how to respect the multicultural society that I live in, to appreciate the variety of festivals and to create bonds of friendship with people who have lived in different parts of the world where I have never traveled to.  Also, I have learned to enjoy the many different cultures, the variety of foods and traditions others follow. I have a passion to learn about the many different religions that could be found in the multicultural society because it fascinates me of the strong beliefs people have for their religion and how it is very similar to the way I feel for the religion that I follow.

 

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Short Biography of the Author

Francis Wardle, Ph.D., is the author of the book Tomorrow’s Children: Meeting the Needs of Multiracial and Multiethnic Children at Home, in Early childhood Programs, and at Schools (CBSC).  He is also the director for the Center of Biracial Children. Francis Wardle, Ph.D., teaches as an assistant professor at the University of Phoenix/Colorado.

What was the article about? In what way is the article valuable to you as an ECE professional?

The article discusses regarding the future of technology around children and how educators can provide the most effective usage of the technology in classrooms. This article indicates that “technology will be part of the learning landscape of the future” (Wardle, 2008).  For educators to make sure that this new technology in classrooms is used effectively the educators must be trained, supported, and have restrictions on the internet sites that are being used by children such as the sites should be developmentally appropriate. Also, the educator at this point is required to provide goals and objectives based on the technology around them according to the education program. An issue raised in the article is that technology should not take away the educators abilities to use materials and other essential resources such as staff training. Technology should not be replacing the commitment that educators need to educate the child as a whole with appropriate understanding of child development. Overall, the article states that we should constantly attempt to use technology in powerful ways for such things as individualizing, gain knowledge regarding disabilities and different learning styles, and bringing the outside world to the classroom for the learning advantage to the children.

In what way is the article valuable to you as an ECE professional?

As an Early childhood educator this article is valuable to me because it provides an insight on if the inclusion of computers within classroom environment is effective for the development of young children. Furthermore, each program has a goal and if technology in classrooms helps achieve the program goal it is the role of the ECE to provide the inclusion of technology. The goal and objective of each program should be based on the development of children and age appropriate technology would be effective towards including new materials in classrooms. It is the responsibility of each educator to inquire and learn how computers could be incorporated within classroom environments. The article includes options and opportunities for Early Childhood educators for the inclusion of technology to be a part of the classroom environment for the effectiveness of children’s learning. The article states that experts in child development have concluded that children under age of 3 should not be introduced to computers as it is not developmentally appropriate; however children age 3 and above are able to explore effectively. Therefore, older children would use commuters effectively to learn about themselves and their environment by active learning and manipulating objects making computers developmentally appropriate for the specific age group. This is valuable knowledge for educators in the profession to be informed how and when the inclusion of computers and technology in classrooms would be necessary according to age appropriateness.

My Pedagogy and Philosophy as an Early Childhood Educator

I believe that the purpose of early childhood education is necessary to build a diverse society that contains knowledge and understanding of the world. Children learn differently at different times as compared to other children in the same community. Each child has their own developmental capacity and stages that they accomplish at different speeds. I believe education for children should be based on the learning of each child individually. Focus of the learning should be based on the children interacting with other student, their environment and educators. A computer offer children with a variety of learning styles and offers a large opportunity for learning. The learning materials offered with technology is diverse and it is possible to focus on each child’s development individually using the learning offered with technology. There are also tools offered for children with learning disabilities which is important for me as an educator where each child is included in the process of learning to explore the world around them.

Aticle Reviewed:

http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=302

Wardle, F. (n.d.). Earlychildhood NEWS – Article Reading Center. Earlychildhood NEWS – Article Reading Center. Retrieved October 26, 2013, from http://www.earlychildhoodnews.com/earlychildhood/article_view.aspx?ArticleID=302