Professor Toni Downes is the Head of School of Education and Early Childhood Studies at the University of Western Sydney.
Her research projects and consultancies focus on quality leadership and technology, the investigation of the educational use of the Internet with young children, young people's view about the use of computers in schools, and the changing nature of literacies in new learning environments.
Most recently her focus has been on working at the national and international level in policy research in regard to teacher learning for the effective use of ICT's for teaching and learning in schools.
She has worked with educational systems and leaders and teachers for close on 20 years in the pursuit of improving education through the appropriate and creative use of new information and communication technologies. She has authored numerous research and professional papers and two books for teachers: In Control: Young Children Learning with Computers and Learning in the Electronic World.
Visit Toni Downes' University of Western Sydney Page
Digital media, artifacts and tools: essential ingredients in early education
Digital media, artefacts and tools are essential ingredients in early learning. As young children develop their capacities to express themselves, communicate and make sense of their worlds, they need to do so using the cultural and physical resources of their everyday world.
For the vast majority of Australian children, digital resources are a part of their lives from birth onwards.
When used well, digital resources offer children a range of ways to play, to interact with other children and adults, to explore and represent their environments and solve problems, to be creative and to represent their ideas with symbols, words, sounds and images. This presentation will explore a set of principles for appropriate use, and different ways of thinking about the organisation and use of digital resources in early childhood settings.