For Your Consideration: The Infants & Toddlers Video Bank
In the main room of the family home daycare, two year-old Richard stares hard at the green felt board, examining its shape and size, and sticking various figures onto it. After a moment or two, he turns and proclaims “Gween!” and then toddles off. (Link to see the full clip)
This is just one of the 200 fun, fascinating short video clips that are on offer as part of the new Infants Toddlers Video Bank, a web-based resource available from the CCDMD, intended to be used primarily by teachers and students in Early Childhood Education programs.
Being able to accurately observe and document the behaviour and development of the young children in child-care settings is one of the key sets of skills that is taught in Early Childhood Education programs. Professional educators use what they learn about children by observing them to plan all the various activities and strategies they will use to support the overall development of each child, so it’s important for educators-in-training to have lots of practice in this area.
However, teachers in ECE programs often struggle to provide their students with enough examples of children engaged in naturally-occurring behaviours in child-care settings, especially when it comes to the youngest age groups. Presently, teachers must resort to using DVDs or even VHS tapes (remember those!?!) to provide their students with the raw observational data they need to practice using the various documentation methods. Needless to say, this is not ideal, and the students find it all rather “old school”. But now, the new Infants Toddlers website, with its user-friendly Search function, will allow teachers to choose from 200 short and 4 longer 30- minute videos (in a section entitled “Observing Lab”) to show their students the goings-on in the infant and toddler rooms at 4 different child-care environments in the Montreal area.
An Extremely Effective Research Function.
Regular readers of this column will know that there already exists an excellent bank of infant/ toddler videos in French. In partnership with the CCDMD, Josee Beaumont, from Cegep de Jonquiere, created Poupons au service de garde, a wonderful resource for ECE programs in francophone institutions. But the need for English resources still exists at the anglophone institutions, so this new website is designed to fill that void.
One new feature of the Infants Toddlers site is an interactive Exercises section. This section offers teachers a set of 7 different quizzes, each designed to help students practice specific observing, recording and analyzing skills. Each quiz targets a particular area, like recording accurate quotes, using descriptive language, or differentiating between observation and analysis, to name a few. Teachers can use these exercises in class, or assign them as homework. Either way, it is the hope that this exciting new section will be a useful complement to the extensive bank of short and longer video clips contained on the site.
The open-ended nature of the easy-to-navigate site means that this resource can be used in myriad ways. Although it’s primarily designed with ECE teachers and students in mind, other users and uses will hopefully be found. We’d love to hear about all the ways that you are using Infants Toddlers, so please consider posting a comment below.