Bordercrossings Encounters with living things/ Digital landscapes
$75.00 (incl. GST)
Bordercrossings – Encounters with Living Things / Digital Landscapes recounts the infant-toddler centers and preschools of Reggio Emilia’s exhibit on nature close-up, seen and investigated by the senses, theories, and actions of today’s children connected to analogical and digital equipment.
33 in stock
In digital environments, as with all educational contexts in Reggio Emilia’s municipal infant-toddler centres and preschools, children act as authors and constructors of their own knowledge, and of their own individual and collective imaginaries, disproving the idea of anaesthetising technology at the centre of attention, and making visible a different amplificatory and generative idea.
This catalogue recounts an exhibition, Bordercrossings – Encounters with Living Things / Digital Landscapes, which has gathered and exhibits projects realised in Reggio Emilia’s municipal infant-toddler centres and preschools: nature close-up, seen and investigated by the senses, theories, and actions of today’s children, and by analogical and digital equipment connected.
Reggio Children, Italy, 2019; illus., softbound, 120 pages
|Dimensions||34 × 24 × 1.2 cm|
With 117 pages of examples of extraordinary encounters between the worlds of the digital and the living, vibrant images and poetic wording, Bordercrossings had me captivated from the very
beginning. This offering from Reggio Children is essentially a catalogue of the exhibition of the same name. So, for those who have not yet journeyed to Reggio Emilia to see the phenomenal
exhibition in the Loris Malaguzzi Centre, this is the next best thing!
Working with digital technologies is not a new concept for Reggio Emilia’s municipal infant-toddler centres and preschools. As the book explains, since the eighties and nineties, computers, scanners, digital cameras, printers, projectors and more have been important tools for learning and research. Small groups of children work together with technologies, in relationship with other languages and materials, to investigate, imagine, design, create and transform. Over time, as technology evolves, more tools and equipment enter our lives and in turn, have the potential to change or transform how we ‘do school.’ This book encourages and challenges us to see technology not as a dominating force in school, but as a complementary or enhancing tool that can connect, support and communicate.
Bordercrossings includes information about the history of the schools and infant toddler centres of Reggio Emilia introducing the use of digital technologies, the research and thinking behind the exhibition and images, and explanations of the set-up of the Digital Landscapes Atelier. There is also a series of examples of inspiring projects completed together with children that capture journeys between the living and the digital; stories of exploring and researching nature using digital tools; and stories of blending the real and the imagined, of the outside ‘playing’ with the inside and the creation of ‘possible words’.
“Technology enters into the daily life of Reggio Emilia’s infant toddler centres and preschools, not dominating other ‘languages’, or replacing them, but mixing with them. It enters in the form of ‘environment’, not as pure equipment and function, but as a connector or areas of knowledge and multi-disciplinary explorations” (p.14).
Having focussed on exploring and reviewing the ways we offer and use digital tools and technologies in my own contexts in recent years, I was thrilled to be able to connect closely with
some of the stories in this book. Ministories of encounters with living things from daisies (p. 24) to snails (p. 28) provided tantalising tastes of possibilities of new perspectives, new relationships, slowing down, and going further. Having worked closely with teachers who have introduced and explored the language of animation with four and five year olds, I was also pleased to discover the inclusion of information on video and stop motion (p. 116) as a path for research and re-invention.
Reading through the many examples of discovering, representing and transforming nature using webcams, microscopes, cameras and projectors, I found myself reflecting on many of the projects
I have been involved with, working with children. I excitedly made connections and comparisons, but also paused to think and re-think the potential of not only the tools and technologies, but of the children themselves.
As many educators continue to research the reciprocity of digital technologies and natural materials (and indeed many other types of materials) in their own setting, this book will no doubt continue to challenge and support thinking as we all move forward in our own journeys. To me, the collection of stories in this book describes the multitude of ways of learning, and highlights how research can be enhanced by the thoughtful and intentional selection of digital tools to complement or enrich a particular situation or encounter. It also makes me wonder what the many possibilities are, not only for early childhood, but for primary and secondary contexts as an inspiration for multidisciplinary learning and a catalyst for transformation. I found Bordercrossings to be an excellent resource and would recommend this for anyone wanting to explore the potential of digital tools and technologies. Whether you are just beginning your journey, looking to extend your knowledge, or simply searching for inspiration, this book will provide you with new perspectives and encourage you to re-imagine what we do in our work with young children, and perhaps even in our own lives. This book is a must-have addition to your collection!
Review contribution: Sarah Denholm