AI in Early Childhood – Six things teachers need to know

Six things teachers need to know about artificial intelligence

By Dr. Samia Kazi 

Previously published in issue No. 13

UNESCO MGIEP

“Teachers will need to become data scientists; able to understand assessment data generated by Artificial Intelligence and monitor its decisions. More than ever, teachers will need to be ready to comment on the developmentally appropriate use of AI applications.”

Read the article

Language: English

CPD hours: 1 hour and 30 minutes

Price: USD 22 or AED 80

Register and start learning now

A mom’s experience with remote learning

Below are notes from our interview with a parent. She is a stay at home mom with four children, and her youngest is attending online learning for the entire year. We asked her to share some of the pros and cons of her experience so far.

Parent: My daughter uses a platform called Seasaw for her classes. Every day I get a schedule for the next day. And when she has live sessions, and the teacher is right there in front of her, she tends to listen to instructions much better than when watching recordings. Also, when they have little breakout rooms, in the zoom meetings, working in small groups reading together, and especially when she gets to read to her friends, my daughter loves that; I feel they enjoy listening to each other.

Sometimes the teacher intentionally places my daughter in the breakout room with her friends; even when she lets them have a 5-minute conversation in chat groups, the day goes much better – for all of us.

But sometimes, she doesn’t get to voice her opinions; you cant always see everyone in the zoom meetings, and she gets frustrated if she doesn’t get called on when she raises her hand. I don’t think the teacher sees her. But some teachers call her out and or go around to most children, which is good.

During the morning greeting or what used to be the morning circle, no one scolded for being late, ever. she is always like – oh, thank you for joining. It’s always positive. Sometimes even my daughter runs a few minutes late, but the teacher is just so positive happy for them to be there. Another thing she likes during the morning meetings is when the teachers ask the children to share something. My daughter gets excited early in the day if she is participating. Even when it’s something silly like – what’s your favorite candy, or what’s the one thing you can’t live without?

Actually, when the teacher asked them that it was so funny, the children were all taking the question so seriously. Some said teddy, food, water, the kids were overthinking. One child said that he needed to think about it. It was funny to see the teacher struggle to explain what she meant, but it was cute how the children were so serious.
But there are a lot of negatives too.

The children don’t know how to use the tools and the buttons in zoom. So my daughter feels frustrated, and of course, many times, I have to help her. At one point, I had someone helping my daughter in my home. An assistant teacher who would sit beside her and help her access the sessions and do the activities, but she got called into work. She said they needed her back in school. I tried to find another teacher, but I have had no luck since I guess there is a shortage of teachers out there.
My daughter feels frustrated because she wants to participate in the sessions, but the teacher doesn’t see her raise her hand.
I am incredibly frustrated because many times, I want to say something or send the teacher a message in the zoom chat, but I know I am not supposed to be in the meeting.

But it’s not always that bad. One teacher has all the children close their videos, except for one. that child says good morning and then chooses the next child who will follow them. One by one, they all get ‘highlighted’ on the screen. And a lot of the time, teachers play games on the screen, like Simon says. Most teachers try to make it fun for the first half-hour, which is great.
Another big drawback is when there are technical difficulties, sound, wifi problems. One time, a child dropped his iPad, it broke, and he started crying. Also, the kids are now used to it; when the teacher’s wifi is not working, the kids are so understanding. They talk to each other.

I think that the group of kids matters a lot. All the children in my daughter’s class are so well-behaved. Only one child has some disability, I don’t know what it is, but sometimes he wrote some inappropriate words in the chat, like repeatedly writing the word ‘stupid’ or something like that. But the kids are so understanding. and the teacher quickly disabled the chat.
One of the worst things is the recorded sessions. One of our teachers only sends us recorded videos, and my daughter hates those.
And its the science teacher, so disappointing. Science could be so fun, so exciting, so participative. Especially now that the weather is still lovely, she could have incorporated many outdoor activities as well. I am disappointed with that. My daughter loves science so much. Watching a video and then reflecting is really boring for my child. When she sends in her reflection homework, no one ever comes back to her with any feedback. Individual feedback from the teacher to the child is so important. My daughter loves it when her teacher gives her ‘hearts’ or something for her work. I mean, the science teacher could have gotten together with the PE teacher and done something integrated together.

Scheduling and keeping time is so hard. The kids do not know when to log on for the live sessions. Sometimes, I don’t know when to log on for the live sessions.

Other parents must be so organized. No one is saying anything. Other children always show up on time, and they never have problems. They must have it all together. Every night, we get the schedule for the next day. Kids can’t manage independently.

Worst of all is math. By the time the kids get settled, they only have 5 minutes to explain the concept. Then the session is over. She is falling behind in math.

It seems to me that the school is taking a laid back approach – taking the back seat. Don’t worry about them doing the homework they said. Don’t stress – leave the stress for us – they say. Well, that’s not the case. This is a massive load on parents. I feel my daughter is not meeting the objectives.

You know, I didn’t have any support meetings for parents. There was one meeting with introductions with the principal. But we, parents, never got a chance to ask many questions. It is not like we want to complain, but it’s important to hear us out. And I know that we are all in this together; I don’t want to push, but how will we assess the kids. What is their level of achievement? Things like speed and accuracy of reading, their level of comprehension, these are things that will be very difficult for them to assess.
I’m so tired. Log on to this, read these tens of emails, access this, use this password for that.

That said, these negatives don’t happen often. Mostly, these mishaps accumulate towards the end of the day. Most days, she is fine. We are lucky!

Jawda Tiers


Jawda Tiers

The tiered system is a viable accountability measure that supports childcare centers in improving quality of their service. Each tier builds on the foundation of the previous one, resulting in significant quality improvements at each stage. The system validates childcare centers for ongoing efforts to achieve higher standards of quality.

 

Jawda Process


Jawda Process

Jawda™ has incorporated a variety of strategies to facilitate the childcare center’s journey through the process. Whether you are a new or a well-established center, the following stages help engage program leaders in continuous improvement and give them a clear road map to reach the top tier of quality.

 

Jawda Standards


Jawda Standards

Jawda™ was developed by Arabian Child Education Consultants working with a team of consultants based in the USA, UAE and KSA. Rigorous global research analyzed systems from the UK, Singapore, Australia, and New Zealand, along with local standards to guide a comprehensive pilot study.

Jawda™ Strengths

  • Developed through rigorous research by an international team (since 2011).
  • Locally tested and piloted in childcare centers in Gulf Region (2013-2014).
  • Qualified assessors trained internationally by international partner organizations.
  • Jawda™ is a context-specific, outcomes-based system that incorporates global best practices in quality childcare and integrates it with the uniqueness of the local culture and the current context of early learning development in the region.

 

Quality Improvement Program

Quality Improvement Program

JAWDA™ – which means ‘quality’ in Arabic—is the first quality improvement program created for the Gulf region.

JAWDA™ helps childcare centers improve the quality of care and education provided to children and their families in the Gulf region.

JAWDA™ provides families with information that will help them make informed decisions about childcare services.

JAWDA™ enables childcare practitioners to raise standards in early childhood settings beyond minimum licensing requirements and achieve high levels of performance as compared to international benchmarks.

Research shows that quality education and care early in life leads to better health, education and employment outcomes later in life. Every child’s early years are critical for establishing self- esteem, resilience, healthy growth and capacity. Quality assurance ensures higher standards for all education and care services in the Middle East so children from birth to age 6 years get the best possible start in life.

Background

JAWDA™ Logo is based on a hoopoe bird (Hud-hud in Arabic). The hoopoe is an elegant bird, mentioned in the Holy Quran as the companion of Prophet Solomon, and in history as a pet to Kings and Queens. Prophet Solomon used the bird for communicating messages, hunting and for other suitable services. The hoopoe bird is known to have a unique skill of being able to detect rich resources. It has key observation skills and is able to assess the quality of a land as it flies over it. When excited, its crest is unfurled and opens out like a fan.

 

 

 

 

JAWDA™ Quality Improvement Program

Now Endorsed by CACHE

CACHE and Arabian Child are working together to introduce a Quality Improvement Program for Early Years Settings developed for the Middle East, called JAWDA™. 

JAWDA™ – which means ‘quality’ in Arabic – helps childcare settings improve the quality of care and education provided to children and their families in the Gulf region, and it helps families make informed decisions about childcare services.  Childcare settings receive a tier level certification indicating the level of quality that they have achieved in specific standards in the following domains: Child Learning and Development, Child Protection, Health and Safety, Workforce Qualifications & Professional Development, Citizenship, Community Partnership and Family Relations, Indoor and Outdoor Environments, and Leadership, Management and Administration. The tiered system (tier 1 to tier 5) is a viable accountability measure that supports childcare centres in improving the quality of their service. Each tier builds on the foundation of the previous one, resulting in significant quality improvements at each stage.

Julie Hyde, CACHE Associate Director said: “At CACHE, we are continually investing in high quality for the care and education industry, helping millions of learners raise professional standards across the sector. We are delighted to be contributing to the recognition and raising of quality within the region through the endorsement of the JAWDA™ Quality Improvement Program.”

Samia, M.Ed., General Manager of Arabian Child said: “Quality assurance ensures higher standards for all education and care services in the Middle East so children from birth to age 6 years get the best possible start in life. We are proud to bring this program in partnership with CACHE to all nurseries and kindergartens in the region, and we are confident that it will make an impact on the early years community.”

Awards and Appreciations

Awards and Appreciations

 
 

2011

Shaikha Bodour Sultan Al Qassimi, Appreciation for most creative participation for Father’s day activities

 

2011

Appreciation from guard

 

2012

Partnership with Ministry of Social Affairs

 
 

2012

Appreciation from Virtual Globe Taskforce

 

2012

Appreciation from Lothian and Borders Police

 

2012

Appreciation from Dubai Police General Headquarters

 
 

2012

Appreciation from Annual Social Entrepreneurship Competition

 

2012

Global Alliance with the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

 

2012

Appointed First International Partner with CDA Council

 
 

2013

Appreciation from Ministry of Interior for work with Children

 

2013

Licensed from Knowledge and Human Development Authority

 

2014

Appreciation from Scottish Police College

 
 

2014

Received the Community Citizenship Award, GESS

 

2014

Awarded ISO 9001:2008

 

2014

CACHE Approved Centre

 
 

2016

UAE Business Awards

 

2017

Meed Gulf Capital Awrd Finalist

 

2017

Dorris Day Autism Center Appreciation

Testimonials

 Testimonials

Research and Innovation

Research and Innovation

Arabian Child has been at the heart of many historic changes in early childhood in the United Arab Emirates. Now, at a time that the early childhood sector is going through a dramatic change in the GCC region, Arabian Child is the market leader in multiple areas. The company helped catalyze the sector to move towards improving their policies for regulating quality of early childhood education and care, now that it is fully underway, the company is at the center of the fundamental changes in the lead of the early years’ sector.

Arabian Child is committed to continuous development, innovation, and advancement by leading and supporting research projects. This research has provided the foundational knowledge required to build and adapt internationally recognized best practices and models. This research has also influenced local practices and policy-making.

 

Arabian Child Research Projects 

Examples of research studies that we have conducted and published:

 
 

2011

Who is taking care of our children? National ECD workforce study and training needs assessment?

 

2012

DAP: Teacher beliefs about development appropriate practice & differentiated teaching strategies

 

2012

Relationships and interactions: assessing quality standards in early childhood settings

 
 

2013

Emergency preparedness in UAE nurseries

 

2014

Barriers to reporting child maltreatment in UAE nurseries

 

2015

Developing a quality assurance framework for early years centres in the UAE: A qualitative study

 
 

2015

Leadership in the early years: an analysis of leadership standards for achieving high quality childcare from five different countries

 

2015

Analysis of child protection policy with childcare operations policies from four different countries: USA, UK, New Zealand and Singapore

 

2016

Mother child attachment and its effect on communication about child sexual abuse topics in the United Arab Emirates

 
 

2016

Quality assurance in early years setting: informing the development of an early years quality improvement framework for the UAE (part 1)

 

2017

Quality assurance in early years setting: informing the development of an effective early years quality improvement framework for the UAE (part 2)

 

2017

Barriers to implementing quality in nursery settings in the UAE