Masterclass on Optimising Virtual Learning in COVID-19 times banner

The Victorian Department of Education and Training in partnership with Early Childhood Australia invite you to a free masterclass for Victorian educators as you support children to continue their learning from home. These professional learning sessions focus on educators who work in three- and four-year-old kindergarten programs and have been designed for all teachers and educators, at any stage of their career.

We welcome you to join us for one, two or all sessions as we explore practical ways to support learning online.

Register here

Masterclass content

Webinar Session 1 Online learning 101
Friday 14 August 2020 from 3.30 pm–4.10 pm Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST)
New date added Monday 17 August 2020 10.30 am-11.10 am AEST
This 40 minute session explores the basics of online learning including core design principles and models of online learning for young children and their families. It will cover:
• synchronous and asynchronous learning opportunities and tech use for young children
• online and offline options to engage with children and families
• the importance of social and emotional learning and development (focussing on identity, wellbeing and communication) during this time.

Webinar Session 2 Virtual group time and video conferencing
Tuesday 18 August 2020 from 2.00 pm–2.30 pm AEST
New date added Wednesday 19 August 2020 9.30 am-10.00 am AEST
This 30 minute session will focus on synchronous/live online learning with children and cover:
• using video conferencing tools (such as zoom, teams, etc)
• approaches to online learning and development including opportunities to extend play-based learning and intentional teaching using video
• online social and emotional learning opportunities including peer to peer communication
• building teacher confidence and working with small groups online.

Webinar Session 3 Teaching and learning online
Monday 24 August 2020 from 10.00 am–10.30 am AEST
New date added Tuesday 25 August 2020 9.30 am-10.00 am AEST
This 30 minute session will build on webinar 2 ‘Virtual group time and video conferencing’ and focus on synchronous/live learning with children including:
• using household resources and books to extend numeracy and literacy learning
• opportunities for science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics using video conferencing tools
• building on social and emotional learning through a focus on identity, communication and wellbeing outcomes
• sharing children’s work (and documenting learning) when using live technologies.

Webinar Session 4 Flexible online learning for families
Monday 24 August 2020 from 3.30 pm–4.10 pm AEST
New date added Tuesday 25 August 2020 3.30 pm-4.10 pm AEST
This 40 minute session covers tools for asynchronous learning – that is supporting children’s learning so that it can happen at a time that suits families. The session will focus on:
• apps and websites for use in home contexts, including the Department’s FUSE resources
• connection with children and families via digital documentation
• opportunities to build social and emotional skills including communication and identity using online tools
• creating content for use and considering copyright
• opportunities to connect learning to streamed media (eg. ABC kids).

Webinar Session 5 Virtual opportunities for children
Wednesday 26 August 2020 from 10.00 am–10.30 am AEST
New date added Thursday 27 August 2020 4.00 pm-4.30 pm AEST
This 30 minute session will explore outdoor learning, virtual excursions, concerts and museums for young children, including:
• nature pedagogy options with technology
• using technology to help keep children physically active
• discovering virtual tours, web-cams and excursions
• opportunities for on and off screen engagement.

Panel Discussion 1 Making online learning visible
Monday 31 August 2020 from 10.30 am–11.30 am AEST
This 60 minute panel discussion will cover use of technologies to promote the VEYLDF outcomes and explore ways that online learning and learning from home can be made visible. It will be a conversation with Kate Highfield, two Victorian educators and researcher Professor Susan Edwards, facilitated by Catharine Hydon.

Panel Discussion 2 Helping families embrace social and emotional learning
Wednesday 2 September 2020 from 3.00 pm–4.00 pm AEST
This 60 minute panel discussion will explore ways to support families, including families experiencing vulnerability, foster social and emotional learning and build self-regulation and wellbeing when learning from home. It will be a conversation with Kate Highfield, two Victorian educators and researcher Associate Professor Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett, facilitated by Catharine Hydon.

Register here

This masterclass is reserved for educators in Victoria only.

To read more about the presenters click here. To view the recordings of previous sessions click here. If you have any questions, please contact events@earlychildhood.org.au.

Masterclass Name Dates Time
Webinar Session 1: Online learning 101 Friday 14 August 2020 3.30 pm–4.10 pm AEST
Webinar Session 1: Online learning 101 (Repeat) Monday 17 August 2020 10.30 am–11.10 am AEST
Webinar Session 2: Virtual group time and video conferencing Tuesday 18 August 2020 2.00 pm–2.30 pm AEST
Webinar Session 2: Virtual group time and video conferencing (Repeat) Wednesday 19 August 2020 9.30 am–10.00 am AEST
Webinar Session 3: Teaching and learning online Monday 24 August 2020 10.00 am–10.30 am AEST
Webinar Session 3: Teaching and learning online (Repeat) Tuesday 25 August 2020 9.30 am–10.00 am AEST
Webinar Session 4: Flexible online learning for families Monday 24 August 2020 3.30 pm–4.10 pm AEST
Webinar Session 4: Flexible online learning for families (Repeat) Tuesday 25 August 2020 3.30 pm–4.10 pm AEST
Webinar Session 5: Virtual opportunities for children Wednesday 26 August 2020 10.00 am–10.30 am AEST
Webinar Session 5: Virtual opportunities for children (Repeat) Thursday 27 August 2020 4.00 pm–4.30 pm AEST
Panel Discussion 1: Making online learning visible Monday 31 August 2020 10.30 am–11.30 am AEST
Panel Discussion 2: Helping families embrace social and emotional learning Wednesday 2 September 2020 3.00 pm–4.00 pm AEST

Speakers

Catharine Hydon

Catharine Hydon

Catharine Hydon is the Director and Principal Consultant at Hydon Consulting. Over the last 10 years she has worked at a range of organisations and governments to understand and articulate quality and inspire change. With a Masters in early childhood education, Catharine has extensive experience in the early childhood sector beginning as a teacher in a kindergarten program in the northern suburbs of Melbourne to lead roles in a range of services and projects for children and their families.

Catharine draws on her experience and ongoing practice research to consider how theory connects and informs practice. Specialising in early childhood practice and pedagogy, quality improvement, policy and governance, the delivery of integrated services to engage vulnerable children and their families.

Catharine’s involvement in the early childhood sector is an important part of her commitment to the outcomes for children. She is a long-time member of Early Childhood Australia (ECA) currently serving as the Co-chair of the Reconciliation Advisory Group and is a regular contributor in ECA publications. Catharine has been a member of the ECA Code of Ethics working group for the last two reviews and is a co-author on the recently published Ethics in Action Implementation guide. Catharine is a Board Member of the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA) and has recently been appointed as a second tier reviewer for ACECQA.

Catharine is a dynamic speaker and collaborative facilitator and is skilled at engaging professionals in reflective dialogue and creative conversations.

Dr Kate Highfield

Dr Kate Highfield

Dr Kate Highfield is an experienced teacher, teacher educator and researcher. As General Manager of Professional Learning and Research Translation at Early Childhood Australia, Kate explores effective technology integration and use, with a focus on potential impacts on learning (for adults and children), pedagogy and play.

Kate has spent over two decades working as a classroom teacher and as a teacher educator and researcher at Swinburne, Macquarie and Charles Sturt Universities. Her current research (supported by a range of grants and linkage projects) explores the impact of technology as a tool with young children, parents and educators. This work specifically focuses on the use of digital technologies in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEAM), including interactive screens, tablets, iPads and smartphones, robotics and techno-toys. Kate examines digital play, technology integration and how healthy media use can be used as a tool to enhance learning.

Recordings and resources

Recordings of each webinar will be uploaded here at the conclusion of all sessions and panels in this Masterclass.

If you would like to be notified when the recordings are available and have not yet registered as an On Demand attendee, please click here to register.

Resources

The following resources are shared to inspire and spark ideas. Remember that we are not suggesting you use all of them (and indeed you may choose not to use any of them)—rather that you consider them in your ongoing work with children and families at this time, focusing on meaningful engagement.

Webinar Session 1 Online learning 101

Early Childhood Australia’s statement on young children and digital technology underpins much of this work and is available here.

Victorian Department of Education and Training Learning from Home website – where you can read guidance and access videos of the webinar series run in term 2 on the basics of setting up a Learning from Home program.

Victorian Department of Education and Training FUSE site for a range of resources for Early Childhood.

Victorian Department of Education and Training’s weekly Early childhood education coronavirus (COVID-19) update direct emails. You can subscribe here.

Contact the Victorian Department of Education and Training dedicated coronavirus (COVID-19) phone advice line on 1800 338 663 or email ec.home.learning@education.vic.gov.au if you need further assistance.

Webinar Session 2 Virtual group time and video conferencing

Victorian Department of Education and Training page on Supporting parents, children and vulnerable families.

The following supports are available to educators working with CALD families:

  • All Department funded early childhood education services are able to access funded telephone interpreters through VITS Language Loop. To read more and download tip sheets see Language Loop or call 9280 1955.
  • Foundation House (https://foundationhouse.org.au/specialised-programs/early-years/) – Educators and services are encouraged to contact Foundation House to seek tailored advice for children from a refugee background (via the Early Years Program).
  • fka Children’s Services(fkacs.org.au or 9428 4471 or culturalinclusion@fka.org.au) – Telephone support and advice is available for kindergartens to support services in continuing to maintain strong connections and engagement with multilingual families.
  • fka Children’s Services learning at home resources.

Webinar Session 3 Teaching and learning online

Victorian Department of Education and Training FUSE site

Webinar Session 4 Flexible online learning for families

In this session we discussed a range of Apps to consider. Each of these were selected as they are available on a range of platforms and have an option that is free.

Apps to consider

Book Creatoran open-ended tool to create digital books, please note that this works on tablets not phones and book creator one allows you to make one book.

PicCollagea photo collage tool, and while it does have in-app purchase options, the free version allows you to quickly create photo collages.

Explain Everything: allows you to create a broad range of projects, including capturing animations of what happens on your screen.

Websites to consider

Victorian Department of Education and Training FUSE site

ABC Early Education has links to content for many areas, including short videos that link to children’s lived experience and have children providing the explanation.

ABC Education is aimed at children in schools but many of the activities and video for foundation may be useful if children have particular skills and interest.

Copyright (Creating content slide)

In this session we also discussed copyright that arises as an issue when we create and upload resources that integrate copyrighted materials including elements such as reading printed books and sharing music. To read more about copyright the following two websites are recommended as a starting point:
A PDF on copyright during COVID and one example from a publisher.

Streamed media examples to consider

There are a range of free streamed media sites that have potential to link to learning and build social and emotional skills. Each of the following are free and from reputable sources, remembering that sharing any media should link to children’s interests and support current learning. Some sources to consider are Daniel Tiger’s Neighbourhood, particularly for social and emotional learning, Big Ted’s adventure takes children on a range of adventures, including to the zoo and ABC Play School Art Time focusses on art opportunities. If you’re interested in audio resources then ABC Kids Listen has a range of songs, stories and podcasts that can also be shared,

Webinar Session 5 Virtual opportunities for children

Virtual opportunities to consider in Victoria

Here we share a broad number of virtual opportunities–remembering that rather than sharing all of these ideas, educators need to take care to select appropriate resources and ideas that are meaningful for their children and families. There are many Virtual opportunities to consider in Victoria including from Zoos Victoria. Two to note are Animals at Home and a virtual excursion for Early Childhood. If your children are interested in science then Scienceworks at home has some great experiences for families to try. Finally, one of the BEST, as it compiles many of the virtual opportunities from all around Victoria, has been developed by the government’s ‘Visit Victoria group it has an amazing collection of virtual opportunities

Virtual opportunities to consider outside Victoria

For those of you exploring virtual opportunities outside Victoria you might be interested in offerings from the Queensland Art Gallery, from Canberra’s Questacon, Sydney aquarium’s live cams and Sydney’s Living Museums virtual excursions. Leaving our shores you can visit the Louvre, the Metropolitan Museum of Arts, the Smithsonian to explore natural history and the Van Gogh museum to look deeply at Van Gogh’s work.

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Questions and answers

Catharine and Kate invites you to send them your questions related to the masterclass content, by clicking here or sending an email to events@earlychildhood.org.au. All questions will be collated and once a week this section will be updated with your questions and their responses.