In the Spring of 2017, Possibilities ECE was able to visit the schools of Reggio Emlia and the Loris Malaguzzi Center, where we spent time in the digital studios. The municipal schools of Reggio Emilia have been exploring digital tools through the big idea of “Border Crossings” for the past three years. Digital tools can provide unique perspectives to support and make visible young children’s complex thinking.

The studio teacher – alterista shared “The use of digital tools can foster sustained work on ideas over weeks and months. This sustained work, supports children to go deeply into their thinking. We, as educators, can foster children’s complex thinking by using these tools to record both our own and the children’s experiences.  We can use our own reflections to continue to add prompts/provocations/questions to children’s explorations. In this way we fully embrace our role as co-learners with children.”

The work presented in the Digital Atelier on Digital Landscapes memorized us. In the last twelve months, we have been and continue to be immersed in a self-study on the progression of Light for Inquiry. In particular, we are reflecting on how digital landscapes are represented in 3-D environments in the classroom. There are many strengths and concerns about how we offer digital provocations and the impact on young children. So, we have been spending time thinking about a theoretical framework for the digital environments.

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Troubling Our Practice

As we started to think about the implications of bringing digital spaces into early childhood, we realized that we would need to think deeply about our practices. When Ingrid encountered the idea troubling our practice – the ideas that we would wrestle with ideas to constantly keep us thinking about how we implement our engagement in digital spaces in the classroom -– well, we were hooked. We are reflecting on the following questions to trouble our practice in designing digital environments.

As educators, how do we practice multiple and simultaneous ways of thinking through the language of the digital?

When using digital landscapes, how do we assure that the child is protagonist of their own learning?

Where is the intersection between digital landscapes and the co-construction of relationships of the world through multiple points of view, sensorial sensibilities and playful, curious interests?

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The Digital and Reuse Materials

In thinking digital landscapes, we need to reflect on our own understanding of the digital. As we consider our role as co-learners with children. We ask what can we do to bring the work forward as educators and co-protagonist of children’s learning?

We consider the ideas of…

Curating our own digital mindful inquiry when merging what we know about digital technologies with children’s emerging discoveries.

Supporting children in building critical thinking skills when engaging with the digital technologies.

Situating the materials of the studio in children’s real and imagined world within the digital atelier.

Embracing the plurality of thinking that recycled materials bring to the digital atelier and their supporting of new languages which emerge when these two worlds (recycle and digital) combine, worlds that are rarely in dialogue.