• Media as a pedagogical tool

    There are a number of different opportunities to use media (contents) in the daily pedagogical work in ECEC. Above all, here it is particularly suitable to use the existing offers and processes in the ECEC centre.

    The morning circle can be used for conversations about media experiences, the PC corner for joint research, the broken computer, television or radio for discovery and research or media pedagogical projects that can engage the everyday interests of the children.

    Media and media content can enrich and supplement the pedagogical work in ECEC in many different ways. The various media devices and offers serve both as working tools and to support and stimulate educational and learning processes. Above all, the use of educational media can be exciting in this context.

    Some examples are presented below:

    Language development and media

    With regard to language development, audio media offer a variety of possibilities. The language used in radio plays usually stands out from our everyday language due to its varied and pictorial choice of words. In addition, the speakers often come from the dubbing or theatre industry and can therefore playfully change their vocal pitch and rhythm. This makes it possible to imitate language, stimulates the language development of children of all ages and supports the enjoyment of language.

    Children's rhymes and songs on cassettes, CDs and podcasts can be just as helpful. What is heard can be used as an inspiration for creative activities, small role-plays or simply for conversations, whereby it can be further used and processed by the children. The use of audio recording devices can also support a fair relationship to speech. Children usually find it very exciting to deal with their way of speaking and voice, to change their voice while speaking and to hear it afterwards. Such audio recording can also be a complement to individual written language development documentation and can be used in conversation with the parents.

    Movement and media

    In most cases, uncertainty about media use is accompanied by concerns that children are becoming inactive, slow and insufficiently active. On the other hand, the targeted and planned use of media can have a very favourable and promising effect on children's behaviour.

    On the Internet, for example, there is a wealth of child-friendly videos of dances from other countries that can be watched and danced along. The children's playful and creative coordination and sense of rhythm can also be encouraged by thinking up their own movements or dances to sounds and songs.

    Even when filming and photographing each other, an imaginative and artistic examination of one's own body and movement can take place. Effects and tricks such as fast-forwarding or slow motion clarify movement sequences very well and also create an amusing atmosphere for the children.

    Natural sciences and media

    Education in the natural sciences can be well accompanied by television and film. The possibilities offered by film technology, such as zooming in and out, time-lapse or slow motion, or night vision films and simplified images of complicated processes with the help of computer animation, enable children to gain insights into subject areas that are otherwise difficult to grasp. This way, the understanding of scientific phenomena is considerably simplified and, on the other hand, the interest in a topic can be stimulated or intensified. Scientific film contributions can also be used as an opportunity to try out the experiments seen for oneself.

    The rapid growth of cress seedlings, for example, can be recorded regularly with a fixed camera and finally played back in a small time-lapse film and watched again and again.

    Comprehension Questions

    1. How can audio media help children aged 3-6 with language development?

    2. Which medium and content would you use in the ECEC to encourage body movement?

    3. In what way can media contribute to educating children in the natural sciences?