Child care workers learn about kids and technology

JODIE Lyon was just one of 60 local child care workers who attended Rio Tinto Alcan's early childhood professional development workshop.

Ms Lyon is one of the new family educators who received a $10,000 start-up fund, and said the seminar had been invaluable.

"I've taken on so much already, mainly the differences between the female and male brain," she said.

"I wanted to see in depth how the brain effects a child's development."

Delivered by Dr Michael Nagel, child care workers were given a greater understanding of the neurological development of children, through gender and electronic devices.

Dr Nagel said the main thing he wanted locals to understand, is that while technology is fascinating it shouldn't be a substitute for old fashioned learning.

"Electronics have this divine glow about them, but there is no real evidence to support the theory that it's better for a child's learning," he said.

"I understand there are kindergartens and schools implementing iPads in class but these should just be a tool; it's the teachers that are the motivators."

More research into the transition of Queensland Year 7 students to high school is also something Dr Nagel wants us to look at.

This was the first of four professional development workshops offered through the Here for Childcare initiative and a starting block for local teaching committees.

Rainbow Valley early learning centre director Marion Hays said the workshop will help to further educate her staff.

"We've picked up strategies here that we will implement ASAP," she said.

"Having access to the whole of Gladstone in the workshop allows us to increase the overall learning scheme which will benefit everyone's children.

"It will affect the whole trajectory moving forward."

Inclusion support facilitator Sue Newsome said her number one goal now is to keep the region's educators current.

The next workshop will be around early childhood literacy on June 20.



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