<% @LANGUAGE="VBSCRIPT" CODEPAGE="1252" %> KidiPads and collaborative work (kindergarten) KidiPads and collaborative work (kindergarten)

Research Question
How will the use of KidiPads enhance the collaborative work of kindergarten children?

Update: March 2006
Congratulations once again to Anne-Marie Reeks for winning another major Award. The National Awards for Quality Schooling were presented at Parliament House in Canberra on February 27th 2006.

Anne-Marie won "Highly Commended National Achievement" in the 'Excellence by a Teacher' section of the National Awards. A really outstanding achievement for one of South Australia's PLICT researchers.

The Hon Bronwyn Bishop MP presents Anne-Marie with her Award

Update: October 2005
Congratulations to Anne-Marie for winning an award in "Children's Week SA".
The award recognizes Anne-Marie's great contribution in fostering play through her KidiPads Research Project. Anne-Marie has won the "2005 Children's Week Play Award". She was presented with her award by Her Excellency, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson at Government House on Monday 24th October.

Brian Featherston, Marjorie Jackson-Nelson, Anne-Marie Reeks, Jim Edson

KidiPads has been incorporated into the kindergarten curriculum and has shown that the visual, auditory and kinaesthetic properties of this program can easily build on children’s understanding of their world. Through the engagement of play with Kidipads, it has highlighted areas where this has enormous potential for teaching and learning.
Language developments, literacy skills, visual and auditory discrimination, self-expression, cultural diversity and the visual component of sound, all have been experienced with KidiPads.

KidiPads has expanded opportunities for listening skills, turn taking, sharing, participation in group projects and performance opportunities thereby assisting social development.

Kidipads can also be used for solitary, parallel and group activities.
Used as a tool at group times and within the rotated themes in the home corner, children have had the option to access this at will.

KidiPads at Monash kindergarten

KidiPads at Monash Kindergarten
View the PowerPoint presentation

KidiPads on the floor
KidiPads on the floor

Through these experiences children become intellectually inquisitive as they use the KidiPads in the home corner to ‘kitchen’ sounds’ such as a clock, kettle and toaster. They can access ‘workshop’ sounds such as a drill, welder, hammer and chainsaw and utilise these sounds with their play. Through the experiences of Punjabi dress up clothes and music, children are able to develop a sense of being connected with others and their worlds as they are exposed to cultural diversity.

Physical competencies are challenged as children are creating a melody. Coordination and rhythm are practised as each child aims to play their part in a small band.

Success with simple tunes assists children to develop confidence in themselves and their ability to perform as a group.
Effective communication from the ‘conductor’ encourages all group players to take turns and participate as they work towards this common goal.

Songs we have used this year are ‘ Old Macdonald’, Take you driving in my car’, ‘What do you think my name is?’, ‘ Row, row, row your boat’, ‘ Tic, Tac, Toe’ and ‘Happy Birthday’.

Thinking skills are evoked when KidiPads are combined with a story displayed through ‘Power Point’. In our story of the ‘Three Billy Goats Gruff’, children use visual cues to access appropriate coloured pads to add sound effects to their stories. These sound effects were the footsteps of the Billy Goats. Children are able to control this activity throughout the day to create and recreate their favourite parts and sounds in the story.
To record this story children used a microphone and were able to visualise volume levels on the computer. They particularly enjoyed listening to their own-recorded voices.

KidiPads has been woven into the fabric of our curriculum and the IT components have challenged staff. It has broadened our knowledge our creativity and our community interactions, maximising the benefits of KidiPads for all at the Monash Kindergarten.


The Monash Kindergarten undertook the project of collaborative work and KidiPads. Monash is a part time kindergarten with children attending over 2 full days. To allow this project to operate successfully, structures weekly sessions were scheduled. A target group of children emerged. Approximately twenty children participated in these sessions with the remaining fifteen joining this target group during a later group time. Staff, children and parents have all embraced this project with enthusiasm.

The research was focussed on the collaborative play that unfolds when kindergarten children have the opportunity to explore their world through the technology of KidiPads.
Why is your research educationally significant?

The Monash Kindergarten has been fortunate to access school computers through a shared project with school staff on the use of Kidpix 3. Although the children received great satisfaction from these sessions, staff were keen to try alternative ideas. With the newly developed KidiPads and the simple operating procedures for young children along with the social interaction possibilities, the project came alive for all at the Monash Kindergarten.

Music and masks for songs
Music and masks for songs

How did you gather your data/evidence?
Initially a rubric was developed to determine cooperative group play developments of target children. I found this method of data collection ineffective. Data has also been collated by observations/reflections, videos and photographs of sessions. Reflections of each session have been the most valuable data collection during this time.

View more images from the inquiry.

Music Charts
Music Charts
Examples of the data/evidence
Rubrics, photographs, videos newspaper articles and a CD


How did you interpret your data/evidence?
Valuable data shines forth with reflections/ observations from children’s responses to individual sessions. Success welcomes maximum engagement and responses from children.

Research findings
What did you find out?
- Ideas explored through Kidipads include songs with sounds attached, sound effects for stories, children’s singing, voices for stories, cultural diversity explored through language and music, language development through labelling, fun sounds through a celebration run, making music, investigating instruments.

The use of KidiPads in play allows for solitary, parallel or group play. While the major input for KidiPads was with ‘structured’ sessions, this lead to children taking control and adding their dimensions and ideas to this tool. Children’s engagement correlated to individual interests and the opportunities to access KidiPads. Social development and teamwork were highlighted through children having to cooperate for a group result.
Building rhythms
Building rhythms

Chart for "take you driving"
Chart for "take you driving"
What can you conclude from this?
Technology to assist children develop socially, musically and technologically, whilst encouraging teamwork is a mighty powerful tool. A sense of empowerment, success and satisfaction are great rewards.

How has this research changed your theory and practice?

Technology has becoming an integral component of children’s education.
Social development and effective communication skills of kindergarten children are always a high priority. Using technology that can assist in with these skill developments is an asset for any educational facility. My theory of computer programs not supporting these critical aspects of learning has been squashed.

It adds an auditory and exciting dimension to children’s learning.

In planning for KidiPads it broadens the learning spectrum with the visual, kinaesthetic and auditory dimensions being catered for. Larger group participation for individual children is also an added bonus.

A change in my teaching and in using KidiPads has forced me to take risks with my own skills and experiment with new technologies. Parents have been supportive and assisted with musical knowledge and resources My IT learning curve has been enormous as many problems were worked through with the assistance of staff. Collaborative efforts have been essential and necessary.

What new questions emerged for you as a result of this research?
1. How do I continue to expand the use of KidiPads?
2. Is TSoF support still available?
3. Can I simplify the ‘building music’ component of KidiPads?
4. Where to access support for kindergarten staffs that wish to continue with IT development?
5. Can online support be available for nominate
d projects?


References: weblinks

KidiPads software - subset of midipads site

Findsounds - search for the web for sounds

Personal reflection
What could have been better?
Initially I had concerns about the inflexibility of video borrowing from TSoF for data collection with this project. This led to the Monash kindergarten purchasing our own video camera. As it turns out this was by far the best outcome.

What exceeded your expectations?

I am forever grateful for the patience and instant support I have received from Jim Edson (TSoF) to assist with my own skill limitations. The use of emails through this time has been hugely beneficial and necessary. He has assisted my teaching by maintaining the momentum with problem solving the IT issues I had encountered. This directly impacted on the success of projects I was undertaking.

My entire journey with this research project has pushed me far beyond my comfort zone in every aspect of my learning.
Everything I have done this year with this project has been very rewarding.


Anne-Marie Reeks
Monash Kindergarten