Online ebooks embrace families

Last updated 11:01 14/11/2012
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Online education: Fleur Harrisson and PORSE student Izayah Tofaeono enjoy an ebook.

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Upper Hutt woman Fleur Harrisson is leading the way in early childhood education, by using ebooks to help parents see what their children are doing and learning during the day.

Mrs Harrisson, an in-home childcare educator with PORSE, says she used to struggle with computers but challenged herself to embrace technology with personalised electronic books to show parents their children's development in a bright and colourful way.

"The ebooks are unique and special because everyone in the family can see what their child's getting up to no matter how far away they are," she said.

"Grandparents just love being included in the daily activities and make comments in the ebooks. Families can easily link other family members too so it's a great way of involving everyone."

Mrs Harrison takes photos and videos each day and enjoys uploading them to the ebooks and creates themed galleries with music, stories and funky graphics.

The ebooks have been so impressive that they have even caught the eye of the PORSE coaching and training team who are starting to introduce the technology to other educators and nannies.

Upper Hutt PORSE programme tutor Matt Lund congratulated Mrs Harrisson on her new initiative and says the ebooks enhance the in-home programme because they show daily activities in action.

"PORSE is encouraging more ebooks because they're a fantastic way to capture children's lives and enable educators to easily share a child's special journey with family. We're excited about other educators taking on the idea."

Parent Philippa Layton says receiving the ebooks makes her day, and provides a great way for her to feel included in her son Noah's daily activities.

"We just love the ebooks because they make us feel involved and we don't feel like we are missing out on anything while we're at work. The electronic books always have a theme, whether the children are going to the zoo or the airport. It's nice to be assured that they are learning great things with Fleur."

Mrs Layton says she has been so inspired by the ebooks that she now uses them herself.

"It's a great way to share photos at birthdays and Christmas. We don't print like we used to, so ebooks work well as photo albums and are easy to pass around the extended family."

Mrs Harrisson says the ebooks work well with the growing popularity of smartphones and email.

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- Upper Hutt Leader

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