On February 15, 2017, my children and technology class had the pleasure of inviting Mr. Steven Bonnay from HiMama @HiMamaSocial to our class to talk to us about the HiMama app and explain to us how it works and how this could improve an early childhood educators life when documenting in the classroom.
HiMama is basically an app for early childhood educators that could make documenting and documentation a painless process as they are allowed to spend as much time with the children they work with while being able to document anything specific at the same time. It is a new form of documentation that is being introduced to childcare centres. This could allow for the existence of pen and paper documentation to be eliminated since it is so much easier to use. When documenting, you are no longer forced to print off pictures or updates for parents, you can easily upload it to the parent’s e-mails.
As pictured above, this is an app that can de downloaded onto an IPad and/or a tablet if you have access to one in your early years centre. I find that this app would be very helpful and useful for earlcy childhood edcuators as there are plenty of options for them to still document and relate it back to the ELECT. There is an option for early childhood educators to tag ELECT when writing up a specific documentation under a certain tab on the dashboard.
There are multiple aspects of the app that are available on the dashboard. This makes connection to the child’s daily life activities. There are options for health, food, check in/out, toilet, mood, activity, supplies and notes. In each category the educator is able to add pictures if they feel it is appropriately linked to the task. After completing a checkout of all of the documentation the educators can easily send out reports directly to parents instead of having to print them out and show them to parents whenever a parent comes to visit the centre. Another addition to this app is that parents are allowed to add people who they wish see their child’s documentation which allows for privacy.
Aside from these amazing aspects of the app, multiple classrooms seem not to be using it yet. A reason for this could possibly be that the app does not take into account anything from How Does Learning Happen and only has the option to tag ELECT. As well, there is a small fee for educators when creating a classroom on the app. Due to these reasons some early childhood educators may be resistant to using the app in their centres.
In our everyday lives, majority of individuals are attached to their smart phones, cell phones, laptops, IPads, and tablets. This app would allow for communication between both parents and educators and any moment in time and would not require for a physical meeting date between parents and educators. It will allow for parents to have real time communications with educators and vice versa. This would be an example of professional learning for early childhood educators since they are using social media and internet to connect with families, allowing them to learn more which way is a better form of communication between them and the children’s parents. This app also allows for educators to be active inquirers as when using the app and needing to look something up they are allowed to do so at the same time and do it freely at their own will. The fact that an educator chooses to use their app shows how it is a self-initiated process and something that is not being done to them as they have the freedom of choice. This app will allow for pen and paper documentation to transform into something bigger and better.
All pictures are courtesy of HiMama’s website.