Flipgrid fills the gap for Class of 2021

A new technology platform has been embraced by Affinity Education Group's Kindergarten and Preschool classrooms in response to COVID-19, leading to improved learning outcomes for children and closer partnerships between teachers and families. 

“During COVID-19 we trialed a number of approaches as we remained completely connected to our children who were isolating at home,” explains Papilio Early Learning Ryde Centre Manager, Renee Burton.  

“We used Storypark to post updates, and invited parents to Zoom into classroom activities with their child so they could remain part of our community. We also sent out activity packs, worksheets and project kits for children to complete with their parents at home. 

“Then in March 2020 as Australia adopted stronger social distancing and stay at home directives, we launched online Lifelong Learning at Home programs which were welcome by families as they contained exciting weekly programs for babies, toddlers and children, supported by videos, downloadable activity sheets and other resources.”  

The learnings from these initiatives were reviewed and the positive feedback from parents and educators indicated an appetite for learning extensions to be made available to children and families at home, as part of the classroom curriculum.  

In May 2020, Affinity’s Education Team led by Dr Lesley Jones pushed ahead with a collaborative project between Early Childhood Teachers, Centre Managers, parents and children to further embed learning opportunities at home with a focus on children aged 3-5 years attending kindergarten or preschool programs within the Lifelong Learning Centres Community. 

“We know from research that the two years before a child starts school are critical learning times, and that for many children, their opportunities to attend our kindergarten or preschool programs around Australia may be limited to as little as twice or three times a week,” Dr Jones said. 
 

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Flipgrid – a Microsoft platform designed for primary school classrooms – was identified as the best solution for Early Childhood Teachers working in Affinity’s Kindergarten and Preschool classrooms around Australia.  

Initially trialed in Papilio Early Learning Preschool classrooms in New South Wales, the video-based format of Flipgrid combined with the ease of use for teachers, educators and parents and children, quickly enabled the program to be adopted by kindergartens in Western Australia and Queensland.  

The Lifelong Learning Centres community and the Affinity Education Group is proud to have worked alongside Microsoft to bring this project to life. 

“It is great to see the impact that the Microsoft Products, and specifically FlipGrid, are having with the team at Affinity Education and early years students”, said Dan Bowen, Technology Strategist at Microsoft. 

“We know that when learners reflect upon, discuss and showcase what they are learning, making, reading, solving and experiencing it really boosts their deep learning and engagement. [We] are looking forward to partnering with Affinity Education to help empower every child in Australia to achieve more” 

The launch to families has now been activated more than 40 Lifelong Learning Centres across Australia, and Dr Lesley Jones says a full national roll-out will take place during 2020.

Learn more about our network of Lifelong Learning Centres and the unique learning approach to foster a love of lifelong learning in children. Our team are committed to best practice in early education, through a research-based, holistic approach.