grab an iPad, hit Pause, then Draw: a 4-year-old IN ACTION

I am always in search for the Next Story for my blog. As in, the Next Story that tweaks my interest when I see or hear something about young children's innovative methods for learning.

I had the good fortune last week to be speaking with a parent in the 3-5s class in which I teach. The dad, Vlada, and I were talking about his 4-year-old daughter Zoe and  - voila! - my Next Story. How amazing that this creative technology story came right to my lap when Vlada told me about how Zoe had been exploring with her iPad at home.

Zoe working at home with her iPad - pausing a scene so she can use her sketch paper to draw a favorite character.

Vlada shared with me how Zoe uses her iPad to watch short children's shows and also do other games on the iPad. A couple weeks ago, Vlada said Zoe started using her iPad - along with paper & pencils - in an unique way:
Zoe would be watching a favorite show on her iPad, then Pause it at a certain point, then turn to use blank paper and pencils to draw details of her favorite characters from the show. Zoe would view her iPad, hit Pause, draw, hit Rewind for a different detailed freeze frame, Pause, and draw further. Zoe would engage this way for long periods of time and has returned to this invented activity many times since Vlada first witnessed Zoe's iPad + Paper art experience. [genius!]
As an educator, I was particularly struck by Zoe's seamless integration of technology, small motor, choice-making, representational efforts with drawing tools, self-direction, and being an agent of one's own learning.

Of course, it is no surprise that children are the best teachers to show us HOW things can be used, turned, pushed, pulled in ways that we as adults would never dream up.
Of course this tech idea came from the best source - a 4-year-old in action.

* Technology use by early learners has been a hot topic for a number of years. Earlier this year, NAEYC put out its statement on Tech + Media. Here is a link to a previously written blog about technology and young children which includes links to the NAEYC Statement: Authentic Ways to Use Technology.

Special thanks to Vlada and Zoe for allowing me
to share their story and photo. 
What do YOU think of Zoe's inventive way
to incorporate technology with her interest in art?
Do you have other children's examples of playing with
or incorporating technology?