New Albany, MS- Students in the Early Childhood & Education II class at the New Albany School of Career & Technical Education have recently had the experience of providing training for daycare centers in the state. Kimberly Langley, who serves as the instructor for the program, was contacted by a friend who owns a daycare center in south Mississippi about the possibility of providing training for her daycare employees via video.
Langley immediately saw this as a unique opportunity for her students to combine the technology that was being promoted school wide and the knowledge that the students were learning in her class. Students used their iPads for research, recording, and editing to produce a video that daycare center directors can use for staff meetings and providing contact hours. “Our 1:1 iPad initiative at the high school has allowed us to do more things and be a part of projects that otherwise we would not have been able to do,” Langley said.
This school year, Langley has partnered with Locust Grove Christian Academy in Union County and Kids Kampus in Sumrall, Mississippi to allow her students to see careers in early childhood, as well as how daycare centers operate. Langley’s students visit Locust Grove Christian Academy once a month and each semester her students “Facetime” with Kelly Hawkins, the owner and director of Kids Kampus.
Through this two-week project, Langley and her students have been able to give back to the daycare centers and their owners by providing them with a fifteen minute video that provides training on lesson plans and fall activities. Hawkins said she had used the video during a staff meeting and played it for all staff members. After the video, staff members discussed how they could better plan lesson plans and arts and crafts.
“The videos are great and very helpful in giving our staff ideas to go along with our lesson plans,” said Christy Grant, owner of Locust Grove Christian Academy. “I’m so thankful that the high school offers this class to help these students be better prepared for their future in education.”
High school students agree that this project has been very beneficial in learning, planning, teaching, and using technology with a purpose.
Elizabeth Holland, a junior at NAHS, said that the process of the project allowed her to learn more and understand the concepts of lesson planning better that she would have in a typical classroom setting. “It was really a neat opportunity to see that high school students were teaching adults how to do things and show people already employed in the field of early childhood how to teach young students,” Holland said.
Jenna Steward, a junior at New Albany High School (NAHS), explained that the video shows how to conduct fall lessons and activities for small children. “My group was responsible for finding a science lesson that we could demonstrate. We showed how to make ice-cream in a bag.” Other groups designed activities around reading, language, art, and math.
Juanita Gomez, also a junior at NAHS, had the job of doing most of the recording. She explained that the iPad was used for filming and that iMovie was used for editing and producing the video to send to daycares. She added that it was great to work on a project that had an exact purpose, “I liked that this project will help others understand and help to make daycare centers better.”