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Networked digital drawing in preschool, a window on the other

Digital technology is also for preschoolers! Patricia Boudreau, a 5-year-old preschool teacher in Sept-Îles, in the Centre de services scolaires du Fer, and Natalie Aubry, a pedagogical advisor at the RÉCIT National Service for Preschool Education, demonstrated this during a workshop presented at the most recent colloquium of the École en réseau (ÉER). They shared their experiences with four groups of children.

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Digital technology is also for preschoolers! Patricia Boudreau, a 5-year-old preschool teacher in Sept-Îles, in the Centre de services scolaires du Fer, and Natalie Aubry, a pedagogical advisor with the RÉCIT National Service for Preschool Education, demonstrated this during a workshop presented at the most recent symposium of Networked School (REA). They shared an experience with four groups of children.

Digital creation above all

Patricia Boudreau admits that she hesitated for a long time before using digital tools in her preschool class. Today, she is convinced that this type of activity can have added value. Natalie Aubry agrees: educational activities using digital tools should not be occupational. It is important to build on their creative potential, to get children to use their imagination.  

Through my classroom window, I see...

To introduce this activity, the children are asked to close their eyes and imagine in their heads what they see when they look out their classroom window. They are then asked to discuss this with each other and they quickly realize that they do not all have the same attention to detail in their observations. Next, they are asked to draw what they see using a tablet or computer. The activity can be done in a networked school setting or not. 

To draw, children can use tools such as Tux Paint, Smart Notebook and ActivinspireThey may be on a computer or simply in front of the interactive digital board (IDB) in the classroom. On the electronic tablets, Draw and Tell or School sketches can be very well suited. 

Of course, children could simply draw on a sheet of paper with pencils. However, Natalie Aubry points out that digital drawing facilitates the dissemination of works created between students in different classes (and sometimes geographically distant). This offers the possibility of pushing the creative aspect further, since there can even be exchanges between the young people. They then realize that they do not have the same reality from one place to another. 

By showing their students what digital networking can do, Natalie Aubry and Patricia Boudreau are convinced that they have opened a window (!) on other worlds. "They wondered if other kids were seeing the same thing they were," whether they were in the Montreal area, on the North Shore or across the country. "There is no snow everywhere in Quebec in November."

In addition, by sharing their drawings on the websites of the participating schools, the children were able to receive positive feedback from parents and others. "It was very motivating for them," concluded Natalie Aubry.

The workshop can be viewed on YouTube.

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About the Author

André Magny
André Magny
For more than 30 years, André Magny has been going back and forth between journalism and teaching French to teenagers and adults alike. Freelance freelance writer for various media including Francopresse, he was also a cultural journalist at Law in Ottawa and in charge of new technologies at Soleil de Québec. He also did sports journalism in France. He has a weakness for the Francophonie, culture, sports, cuisine and politics.

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