All posts by HollyMahogany

Starting My Literature Review!

Last week I took the time to finalize my outline. It’s still in a rough phase but this is my second time reviewing it. I feel it is good enough for me to start working on the Literature review now and figuring out how to piece this all together. Last semester in 5002 we worked on a Literature for our research proposal and I will be takin that approach as I am comfortable and familiar.

This week I am going to start working on my introduction section and really get a good strong thesis statement solidified. My main focuses with is thesis will be the integration of technology into early childhood education and the improvement of tech tools being used as well. this gives my research so clarity, but still keeps my main topics open to many sources I can choose from.

I have confirmed 5 solid sources that I can put into my annotated bibliography to start the process on that piece of the literature review. I have about 25 sources all together to sort through, and see what I would still need to to gather. I want to do that this week along with my introduction and the start of the annotated bibliography an keep me in a rhythm if I can do about 3-4 sources a week.

Overall I am very confident in the work I plan to present in this literature review and feel I just need to now start. the writing to allow my self enough time to thoroughly edit my work and really get the key details fully expressed. This process has been a but easier than I thought it would be as I have really taken time to get into my work and have used the 5 hour a week method of working on my thesis work. The biggest issue I am noticing is organization of the sources but I feel I will eliminate this as I start the annotated bibliography and I can have my sources in one place to refer to and access. I am excited to see my final result and how this work all comes together.

Pick Up Week

Spent this week starting to organize my literature review, and looking closely at my strategy of achieving my thesis goal. Picked up more information during this week from different articles, but I am seeing how intense it can get with organizing the work you find and the places you want to be able to go back for reference. Really seeing how detailed this work will be is helping me to extra organized in my work.

I have began writing blog post in my words document on my computer so I’m rushing to have content once I pick the platform I want to use to show my work. I want that to be decided by the end of this semester so over the winter break I am Abel to start posting and creating content more consistently, with any media form I choose. A lot will be writing and just expressing the important aspects of technology in early childhood education and parenting. The coming of the education and parenting communities is what my blog will focus on with a specific focus on technology and different aspects in their realm.

Overall feeling very confident in the work that I am producing and I do see how I am able to find so much information on my topic and I am starting to find new things that spark interest to me, or I have heard nothing about. Deciding which information to keep and focus on is very relaxed due to the idea I am presenting. There are so many sub categories to touch upon and I want to chose those that most interest me. I am narrowing those down which will be how I will be presenting my literature review.

A Short Week

This week I was a busy one personally so all I was able to do was some more organization and started the actual writing of my blogs and ideas/topics fro writing. I have not solidified what platform I plan to use as of yet and I am making that a part of my research by looking at different platforms and what would be best for my work. I have updated my Thesis Google Doc to explain In more of my plan, but in short I will be creating a website where I will be using the perspective I have had as a parent, an early childhood education teacher, and as a grad student who has now spent the last year and half engaging with multiple forms of digital media platforms, for education purposes, and sees the importance of creating digital literacy patterns as early as the ages from birth to 8 years old.

I have approximately 15 solid sources so far, as I am preparing my literature review. I have not had a hard time finding information, it has more so been a challenge is going through the information and actually finding pieces I can use that don’t all sound similar or are stating the same things, I have not as of yet gone in depth with actual research on tech products for children of this age and what applications or programs work best. I noticed this as I was sorting through the information I have so my goal is to take this week to explore more of the actual tools children can use. As this relates to my blogging/ vlogging( because I am thinking of adding some vlogs/ pictures and other imagery examples to my website)

Overall this thesis will consist of two parts which will be the actual information I will be giving based on the research I do in the fields pertaining to early childhood education and teaching digital literacy. These ideas will be expressed in the second part of my project which is the actual creation of the website, the content ( which will be my ideas, scholars evidence surrounding the field, vlogs, other forms of of literature or digital art forms). I will be doing some interviews as well with other parents that I am familiar with, b ut have never had these conversations with them. I feel these will be posted on the website it will make for great content.

Building A Perspective

This week will pretty short with my blog post, as I plan to take our class time, and the rest of this week to starting bringing forth new ideas to my thesis. Doing more research last week I found 7 more articles that relate and I am in the process of going through them to find what I need and don’t need. I have done a good job so far of keeping the information I find organized. I can see how later I mat possibly end up not knowing where a specific piece of literature is as I start complying for my literature review. I am attempting to find specific quotes and cite them now so I know exactly where to look. The issue is not yet knowing -exactly what I might say or it where it will fit is the issue. I can see that as I now have about 15 solid sources ( I know should be more by now probably, but these are the ones I feel very strongly about as of now) , I may just want to find some way to track my work through the chapters or specific passages from he works I am reading.

Our discussion last week was very helpful as it truly helps me know I am heading int he right direction when someone says exactly what I am thinking. Creating a platforms for moms (or parents) was starting to cross my mind as I wanted to find a way to incorporate that parenting is so vast as each child is unique and it is important to hear the different aspects. With this thinking I have solifided that I have to look at eh realm of early childhood instead being so specific and looking at preschool, because this was to specific in the study, and I felt I was making my information search to narrow. Hearing the prerspectives of different parents from the early childhood age group can depth to my research.

I feel that I want to create a space where I can incorporate the use of technology with early childhood education by having a place where information not he latest tools are available, parents have a forum for questions, and of course showcasing how technology in this part of development can be helpful in the Childs development process. As I stated last week, taking this to a school perspective left too many gaps for question, but presenting this from a mom perspective leaves room for others to contribute their ideas. My suggestions and research are not the end all be all, but will give great insight into how this can help teachers with curriculum learning, parents keep up with curriculum learning at home, and how to gage a Childs development through the use of technology when it comes to education.

The rest of this week I will spend some time finding a few more sources for my literature review. Aside from that I will explore some platforms where I where I can bring my ideas to life. I want to see what my options are when presenting this work. I want to refine the information I am gathering and have a second look at my rough outline and add and take away what I don’t need based not he change I have made int he way I am presenting my work. I want to looking some education technology tools that are used in schools, and even some early childhood schools ( in or outside of the United States) where they are using tech tools to teach.

A New Viewpoint

This week was interesting to say the least. I sorted through the information I am using and tried organizing my beginning thoughts so I can move forward collecting my next set of information. I want to collect information in sets and go through them and then start another set of information until the end of this process. Then I may have themed groups of my information.

A new viewpoint came about this week which changed my direction a little, or helped me bring my concept more into focus. Last week I came to grips with understanding that I do not want to present a proposal, but this is more of a creative understanding of the passion I have for working with children and having learned all about new innovative tech teaching tools and finding a creative way to merge these two that is within guidelines of todays teaching standards.

I have trapped myself slightly, but for this same reason it works for me . My oldest being in preschool for the first time gives me a new perspective of school, and I will use this approach as a parent to speak about it.. I have seem it from a teachers perspective, of course from a students perspective, but now as a parent I have a slightly new outlook and will continue to gain more as the year progresses.

I knew I always wanted to be a teacher growing up, but after having my first child my idea shifted to opening my own. Somewhere to start a business foundation for myself , so this is where the spark and drive was to be determined to complete my vision from. I feel safest talking from a parent perspective and adding my input in other ways because this is a role I play everyday and am able to adapt in, and confirm off of experience.

This week I had a turn, or a pivot, in my research as my own daughter made me question my own theory in a way. I forget that although I am very good at parental controlling what my daughter watches on her iPad there are other ways that sometimes she may have access to things I don’t allow. The internet is so vast with everything to show and it is nearly impossible once someone is given access to this vessel to completely block everything. A regular video showed off of actors and actresses dressed up as character from my little mermaid. All seems well until long story short I hear Ariel is about to deliver her baby and needs to get back to the sea. Safe to safe what I heard made me go watch and a very innocent looking video almost changed my mind. This has happened before but this situation really clicked with me because of me working on this thesis about this very topic.

Although I did not gather any new information this week sorting through the info I already have and really sitting and thinking of what I truly want o express with this thesis was very much needed. I was starting to feel a bit stuck, but just being able to find a position satisfied me and made me really see the direction I am going in this process.

So I Started an Outline . . .

This week I have chosen to do a rough outline just to start putting together how I want to present this idea. I am not exactly creating a business plan completely, but I am focusing on a Part 1 and Part 2. This semester I will be completing part 1 which will be me creating a curriculum.

Staying focused on NJ as the location to implicate my model of a curriculum, because I live here currently and I have a general idea of what the early childhood education curriculums looks like at the preschool level, because I have worked int he field before and have kids of my own which has given me a closer insight into the the early parts of development for children, in a personal way. This is what peaks my interest with my topic as it relates to my everyday life, and has always interested me .

My main focus this week was looking at the different pdf’s on this site, which has multiple pdf’s, have insightful information on different curriculums in NJ, how the teaching preschool system works in NJ, the standard that have been set, and the rules to follow when opening a center (or just looking at a classroom). This information provided the basis of where I started my research and what I started deeming most important to highlight at this stage in my thesis work. The website provides many informative perspectives of preschool education as a whole. 2 pdfs listed below:



These last few weeks as I settled into my idea I was starting to feel like I may overwhelm myself, because I wasn’t able to find topics as I was thinking I would. being that that I picked education as my topic and more specifically creating my own curriculum and model of a classroom, I began thinking I may have picked a topic that might get me stuck at some point. This week I focused more on finding the basics, which may set me back a little with research, but it has opened up the idea of my outline and how I plan to tackle this thesis.

Since I am in the process of understanding the preschool education system, on the first part of my outline I have noted that I want to talk briefly on why education is important to me. This will give my audience an understanding of why I choose this topic, and highlight some key reason other educators may care. I want go more in depth on why I have chosen this particular grade/ age level, and why it matters most to me and also what matters most in the process of creating a curriculum on my own. How will this do amongst the other NJ curriculums.

I will discuss the curriculums that are currently being used, in New Jersey specifically, and why they are successful with preschools across NJ. This will be a bulk of Part 1 because this will help guide me as I create my own curriculum. There are currently 4 that are in use in NJ preschools. Which is Connect4 Learning, The Creative Curriculum , High scope Preschool Curriculum, and lastly Tools of the mind. I have started explaining these generally within my google doc very briefly .

The note taking process at first was a little difficult, as I wasn’t really sure what direction I wanted to go in when it came to my topic, I just knew what it related. Now that I know I want to create my own curriculum example , with intention to focus on preschool and technology use within classrooms. Creating digital literacy is one focus, but not sole. I feel more selections will come to mind as I go through my starting points. I found a pdf that directly speaks of technology use in preschools specifically in NJ. Another focus could possibly be the reading and writing aspects as it pertains to digital and non-digital learning tools. This will tie in my understanding of English and how it is important in early childhood curriculum and and be a critical part in overall development.

Having created a citation page along with my my rough outline to guide my use of my sources has been created in google doc. This way I manage to know which sources will go with what topics to begin with. Created a computer folder of all the pdf’s that I have so far totaling 10. I know at some point I may need to create micro folders for each each section of my outline. My note taking process seems as though it is funneling as we spoke about last week.

I’m attaching my google doc of the outline that I have started here. Building on this google doc each week as I discover new research will eventually turn into docs I feel that will be hyperlinked for the complete project, I’m just weary hyperlinks because they sometimes do not always open for me. I feel the hyperlink method to other parts or sections of my work will be the best way to present and keep things organized.

As I continue to build on this each time I feel it will come together nicely as a creative proposal if that makes sense. Splitting it into parts helps to assure that I cover the necessary areas to explain why I feel this is such an asset to the early child field, as well as the English field when it comes to beginner readers and writers, and seeing things from the teachers perspective.

Overall this experience is getting a bit easier since starting to use the funnel method as we discussed in class prior. I felt I was having an issue at first exactly understanding what I wanted to communicate which made my topic seem to general, but now with further insight I have narrowed down some of my key elements for my thesis.

Falling Into the Right Season.

Last weeks library experience was very helpful when it comes to the research for this extensive thesis we are all working on. I always remember how important the library is when I get there and can see all of the ways in which information can be processed. Craig Anderson did a wonderful job showing us some helpful tricks and tips to exploring and also narrowing our research into the direction we are choosing to take it. The database can really give a broaden version of what you may be looking for, but as researchers we are able to shuffle and discard what we don’t need, and find the true gems that can help us create our thesis.

I feel that I will actually be using Union and Maplewood’s public libraries along with Kean’s to get the information I am looking for. I don’t want everything I research to come from the internet, even though some will, but I want to challenge myself with the collection of my data and broaden how I do my research. I feel that I have used the internet and databases to my advantage thus far in the grad program, but I want to step out of my comfort zone little and see what more information I can discover.

As I continue to research my topic I see if won’t be hard to find information on technology use in classrooms, What I am finding most difficult is the preschool aspect I have within my topic. I want to focus mainly on preschool & Kindergarten, because to me these are the fundamental stages in school for children, and I feel a lot can be learned if applied correctly and adequately.

I want to give a shout out to Gianna because she sent me a really good link last week that connected to my topic. She sent me a link to an instagram page by a woman named Brittany Washburn who teaches a tech curriculum, which really ties into my topic of the idea that tech should be an apart of the curriculum. She focused more on middle school and high school students, but I was still intrigued scrolling on her page, and I liked a bunch of her techniques, so she gained a follow from me. This led me to all of the ads and emails I get about how to incorporate these tech learning tools onto my Children’s iPad, where I spend obscene amounts in monthly charges to accommodate them. I have seen personal progression with my children using the tech tools with intention and purpose which has created my view.

Attempting To Find Direction.

Thanks to our class discussion in zoom I felt a little clear on where to exactly begin my research in order to truly start understanding my topic. There are so many directions in which I can go with this project and still am not to sure on which avenues to truly focus on, but I know this is normal at this stage.

This week as suggested by Dr. Zamora I decided to begin simple and start with looking at Digital Literacy as it compares to early childhood education. Skimming around I was able to see that I am not the only one persona interested in this topic and not the only one who wants to take a step in that direction. Finding out that I have a lot to study and examine makes me feel more comfortable with my topic, although this is just the very beginning.

I thought to myself that similar to the invention of fire or light, the internet can be put in this category as well . Very monumental and has truly changed the way we carry out life. It has made a huge impact now and with its expansion possibilities for generations to come.

With this thought in mind I want to carry out my entire thesis with this thought and tell why it is important to teach digital literacy starting early. This teaching is leading to further advancements of society around us.

“Early childhood is a pivotal period of child development that begins before birth through age 8. This is a period of rapid brain and body development.” These moments are huge when dealing with growth and development of children and implementing digital literacy strategies into their curriculum can really change the projectory of learning, or this is in some way what I am trying to prove. Either way positive outcomes for generations is the result.

The internet started January 1st 1983 according to to google and since then it has been implemented in every aspect and form of life. My idea is starting to truly understand how to use this tool, instead of children just being able to search cat videos for hours, can really change the way educators educate.

Below is how I started my research and where my thought process began:

How Parents Can Teach Digital Literacy Skills at Home 

  • List down the key topics that will improve your children’s digital literacy. Building a clear plan will help you lead a more meaningful conversation with your children. Some of the key topics that you might want to discuss with them include cyberbullying, online ethics and internet safety.
  • Break down topics into short bursts. Don’t overwhelm your children with too much information in just one sitting. Split it into smaller chunks and concentrate on one topic at a time. This will give them enough time to absorb and process everything that you’re teaching them.
  • Apply games. Young students get distracted quite easily. So if you want to have their attention focused on you, you need to make learning fun for them. One way to do so is by reinforcing game-based activities. You can also leverage gamified tests to assess their digital literacy level. 
  • Let them experiment. Let loose and allow your children to apply what they’ve learned into practice. Allow them to use technology with little to no supervision to help them become more independent and responsible online. 

What is Digital Literacy?  

Digital literacy is a broad term that encompasses all of the skills needed to live, work and thrive in a digital world. People who exhibit digital literacy understand technology, make use of digital tools, find verified information and even share one. They’re also well aware of the risks associated with technology and know the precautions to avoid them.

Digital literacy includes four crucial elements: finding, evaluating, creating and communicating information. Youth need to develop these skills to successfully navigate the digital age.

Digital literacy is an essential skill for preschoolers to learn in today’s increasingly tech-centric world. By engaging in technology activities, preschoolers can develop fine motor skills, understand concepts such as letters and numbers, and learn to use technology safely and responsibly.

Preschool teachers don’t have to be tech experts to utilize technology activities in the classroom. From various apps to using tablets or smartphones, there are plenty of simple activities to help develop children’s essential digital literacy skills.

This post will explore the importance of digital literacy in education and tips and activities to incorporate it into your classroom.  These technology activities are easy to set up and can be tailored to the developmental level of your children. So whether you’re a tech novice or a pro, you’ll find an activity perfect for your class.

A child seated with colors on the table, a white drawing paper and a computer. She is copying what is on the computer screen and coloring the same on the white piece of paper.

What is digital literacy in education?

Digital literacy is using technology to find, evaluate, create, and communicate information. To be digitally literate, one must be able to use a computer and the internet for various purposes, including research, email, and social media.

Digital literacy is an essential skill for children to learn to be successful. With the ever-increasing reliance on technology in both the workplace and everyday life, it’s more important than ever for preschoolers to use technology effectively.

Preschoolers are beginning to develop the skills they’ll need to be digitally literate. By providing them with opportunities to use technology in various ways, you help them develop these essential skills.

Technology activities for preschoolers should be designed to allow them to experiment with a variety of different technologies. Moreover, exposure to various technologies will make them better prepared to use them in the future.

Why is digital literacy important?

We use technology in our everyday lives. From smartphones, computers we use at work, and entertainment systems in our homes, digital devices have become a staple in nearly every aspect of our lives.

While too much screen time can be harmful , digital devices and technology are powerful tools for learning when used in moderation. For preschoolers, learning to use technology in fun and engaging ways will help set them up for success in school and beyond. Here are reasons why digital literacy is essential for preschoolers:

Teaches how to use technology

In a world where technology is becoming increasingly ubiquitous, teaching preschoolers digital literacy skills familiarizes them with the basic functions of popular devices and applications. This familiarity will come in handy as they grow older and are expected to use technology for school, work, and other activities.

Develops fine motor skills

Using a computer or tablet requires fine motor skills that most preschoolers are still developing. Regularly using these devices hones their skills and prepares them for tasks that require precise hand movements, such as writing.

Teaches new concepts and ideas

Technology allows preschoolers to explore and expand their horizons. With the help of apps, websites, and other digital resources, they can learn about anything they’re interested in, from animals and plants to history and outer space.

Helps practice essential skills

From counting and matching to reading and writing, there are many ways for preschoolers to practice essential skills using technology. Finding apps and games that focus on specific skills helps your child master the basics before they move on to more challenging concepts.

Encourages creativityDigital devices and applications can encourage creativity and allow preschoolers to express themselves in new ways. Through digital media and technology, they can experiment with music, art, design, and storytelling.Improves problem-solving skills

Using technology requires problem-solving skills, from learning how to use a new app to troubleshooting technical issues. As preschoolers encounter new challenges while using devices, they’ll develop these essential skills and learn how to apply them to other areas of their live

How to teach digital literacy

Digital media and technology can be incorporated into everyday activities and experiences. Here are tips for teaching your preschooler digital literacy skills in the classroom:

Use in moderation

Help children understand the importance of using technology responsibly. Set boundaries in the classroom and stick to them. For instance, if they are supposed to use their gadgets for 30 minutes, stick to that. Most importantly, lead by example and turn off screens when they’re not in use and mute your phone when you’re not using it. This can help children develop a healthy relationship with technology.

Get involved in their tech time

Spending time with your preschoolers while they use technology is a great way to teach them how to use it safely and effectively. Play an educational game with them or start a discussion about something you watch together.

Introducing digital literacy in early education can help young children develop fine motor skills, critical thinking, and creativity. It can also give them a foundation to become comfortable and competent technology users as they grow older.

By incorporating technology activities into the classroom, teachers help their children develop the skills they need to be successful in the digital world.

Starting simple will help me navigate how I choose to express the information I receive and which ways can make this a successful thesis.

Thesis Thoughts . . . Cloudy Spaces.

As last semester ended and we began picking our classes for next semester I was pretty intimidated that I was already at the point to take the oh so feared Thesis class to start my own thesis journey. All summer in stayed in the back of my mind and it was quite odd because typically I can’t even remember the names of classes until the semester starts, but I knew this was going and I wanted to be overly prepared.

Instead of being overly prepared I feel as though I have over thought myself into a place where all of my ideas seem less important for this particular assignment. I can also see how getting other to care about my topic, or see it in a new way plays a major in this process as well. Sometimes we need to show people what is important so they can take interest.

I have been slightly able to narrow down my vast ideas into short phrases that I feel best satisfy what I am looking to bring forth out of my thesis. I want it to be useful beyond my Masters classroom, so I am able to look back and reflect this for years to come with endeavors and business I have planned for the future. I want to bring out something that others may not have thought when looking from a business or learning perspective. I want to create a proposal of some sort ( have a few topics in mind that pertain to areas I am looking to grow in society). Being open to truly exploring and gaining new knowledge from the topic I choose.

My areas of focus that I am looking to presume would either be education, school business outline/ plan, social media aspects, podcasting, or even combining both education and social media which are two very sensitive topics when talked about together.

I plan to make this moment in time meaningful so it is something I can look at for years to come and use it in same way or aspect of my life at that point. With the amount of time we will spend developing this thesis is it important to leave a lasting impression and be able to truly make the most of this final piece.

I am very anxious, yet excited. I know the hardest part of this whole process for me will actually be narrowing down my topic and starting to research and making sure that that topic is something that I can stand behind after this moment in time.

A Race to Finish

Hello All !

Super excited to be starting my 2nd to last semester of this Master’s Program. Also very anxious as usual during the fall semester. So many new things to talk in and unlike the spring semester where we have a few weeks off to recharge and jump back in, the fall semester we come in from having months off and doing other things in our lives. Keeping ourselves busy, and now we add on some new things with this start.

Although I do have some anxious feelings I am also very relaxed at the start of the semester because it is a feeling of being refreshed and bringing a new energy into new surrounding, or some already familiar knowing my classmates and some professors as well. This gives us a new way or perspective to come into this semester and make the absolute most out of it.

I have personally been thinking of this Master Thesis since the start of Grad school, as I have heard the stories of many who have graduated before me, and how it totally consumed them, but I just noticed the positive of how they all made it happen. Now that I am thrown into the mix I am feeling a bit pressured, but nothing more than I can handle.

The fall brings forth such a crisp refreshing air that trickles into my life slowly but surely, and my whole presence becomes calmed in a way daily. This is the perfect time for e to be starting such a big moment in my this part of my life as well, almost makes it a significant point to be aware of.

I am going into this thesis process with an open mind and an open spirit to truly allow my creative and logical juices to flow and produce an awesome thesis. I also want my thesis to be something I use for the next few years of my life if possible, or something that can help in the long term. The research and time I plan to put into this thesis and knowing what is expected makes me want to be able to use this as a stepping stone for something coming in my future.