Looking beyond “what we did”. Quality documentation in childcare.
Let’s face it, we are now spoilt for choice in the way we document in this age of digital technology. Those of us who’ve been around for a while will remember when documentation was 100% paper based, and our choices were limited to the colour of our felt tip pens, and whether we used mind maps or tables, or A3 or A4!
How things have changed! Now we can easily create photo observations, video observations, voice recordings, electronic checklists, and anything else the digital age has gifted us with.
But has this new technology improved the quality of documentation? If our photos, videos and electronic gadgets are just being used to share what we did, have we made progress? Or have we actually regressed in the quality of documentation we’re producing? I guess it all depends on what we do with the technology.
According to the National Quality Agenda Review (2017), whatever format we are using to document, it must “focus on an aspect of learning not just what we did”. So, I guess the question to be asked is, “are my photos, videos, and voice recordings documenting learning? Or are they just showcasing what we did today?”
EarlyWorks makes it easy for educators to make the most of the gifts of the digital age, while also documenting the learning that has been observed.
When photos are added to Observations and Journals, captions can be included to highlight the learning happening in the photo. Educators might even include the child’s voice in the caption to gain even more insight.
When educators tick the outcomes and developmental milestones, comments can be added to explain how that outcome or milestone was evidenced.
When creating Observations and Journals, educators can reflect on the learning of the whole group in the Reflection of Learning. This encourages educators to move beyond the ‘what happened’ to ‘what was learned’.
Educators can also include the voices of the children in Observations and Journals. Children’s conversations may provide valuable evidence of outcomes being worked towards.
Using EarlyWorks, educators can create quality documentation that moves beyond what happened, to what was learned, enhancing the development and learning outcomes for all children. Having the technology is convenient, but it is what we do with it that makes it fabulous!