If a picture does tell a thousand words, why do we have to spend so much time documenting in words? Why not just use pictures? Let’s face it, in the education and care of young children, we do take a lot of photos, so there must be many thousands of words right there! Well… I guess we need to analyse those photos. So we still need the words… But there is no denying the value of pictures as a method of observation.
I’m wondering if one of the advantages of photos and digital recordings as a form of observation, is that they can be easily taken and shared. Then people who may not have directly witnessed the learning, can have access to a visual and even aural (if filming is used) record and then share their insight. This is particularly helpful for sharing observations with families. A digital recording allows families to share their unique insight, and this can be included in the educator’s reflection of learning. As families are the first educators of the children in our care, they will likely notice evidence of children’s growth and development that we may have missed.
In order to encourage this shared reflection of learning, EarlyWorks allows families to share comments about photos and digital recordings. Allowing families to comment on photos (as well as observations and journals) also supports educators in addressing Quality Area 6 ‘Collaborative partnerships with families and communities’. By encouraging families to comment on and share photos, services are demonstrating that they respect and value parents’ views (6.1.2) and that they value collaborative partnerships (6.2).