Category Archives: technology

Storypark and ELECT

I want to share with you a new website that child care professionals can use to document and preserve observations of their daycare children – in a safe, fun, and organized way. With this exciting new tool, daycare providers can create an online portfolio for each child, capture special moments in a child’s day and then share it with that child’s parents. This collection of recorded observations – or stories – not only makes a keepsake for families, but can also be used by care giving professionals to plan play-based curriculum, reflect on their practice, and develop partnerships with parents.

Storypark

Once registered with the Storypark website, users are given unique usernames and passwords to protect each child’s information and maintain their privacy. Caregivers post stories to the site and parents receive an email alerting them when a new story about their child has been added. They can then log in and check it out at their convenience. Parents have the option to comment or even share the story with friends and family.

Storypark Vim at work looking at stories

Each child is given their own profile in which their stories are saved, creating an organized collection of observations in chronological order. In cases where a story contains more than one child, the caregivers can easily save and share that story with several families at one time. This tool is also a convenient way for providers to share information in situations where parents share custody of a child.

Early Learning for Every Child Today (ELECT)

Because Storypark is a tool used to record observations over a period of time, it supports and enhances any child care provider’s work within the ELECT framework. Sharing a snapshot with a short anecdote about a child’s day is a great way to open the lines of communication and promote parent engagement (one of the six ELECT principles). Sharing these moments and insights about a child empowers parents to be actively involved in their child’s development and gives them the opportunity to support learning strategies at home.

Child care professionals can use Storypark as a resource to track each child’s development and mastery of new skills. By observing the development and interests of a child, caregivers can plan learning activities with those interests in mind. Documenting these observations is useful for planning curriculum that furthers meaningful play-based learning concepts centered around the interests and learning goals of the children. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 10 21 22 am

Storypark is a great resource for caregivers to demonstrate their professionalism, validating their important work with children. There is a small fee to use this service, but it can be offset as a business expense for operating a home daycare business. CCPRN members will also receive a discount for using this software!

On March 31stStorypark is offering a free information session by webinar. You can either attend this by logging in from your home, or joining us at the CCPRN office from 7 to 9pm. There will be a home child care professional currently using the Storypark platform at the office to answer your questions as well as an online demonstration. Registration is required for either option.

For more information about the benefits of Storypark for parents and caregivers click here.

To sign up for your 30 day free trial of Storypark click here.

Thanks for reading,

Signature - Jo

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What Songza ‘re you listening to?

Listening to music promotes many skills in a child’s development. Language, rhythm and pattern, movement, vocabulary, and memory skills are just a few. Children have the opportunity to learn songs when they hear them repeatedly but as caregivers and parents we may not always share the same enthusiasm for hearing that same CD or iPod playlist again and again. The radio offers variety but the music aired is becoming less suitable for young kids.

Future Rock Star

Last year I blogged about using Grooveshark to play free music and create custom playlists. But Songza is even easier. The playlists are already created, allowing you the control to skip the songs you don’t like. Simply set your ‘mood’ or search your genre and there’s a ready-made playlist for your listening pleasure day after day.  Simply go to songza.com or download the free app for iPod and iPad.

Songza’s playlists include songs from Animated Movies, Sesame Street, classical music, lullabies, bedtime songs, and even Christmas tunes! We all have our favourite music to listen to, but there are times where we want to mix it up a bit. Songza will be sure to help you keep the music fresh for you and your little ones at home and in your daycare.

Oh and check out this playlist just in time for Halloween!

Signature - Jo

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