ELSA at Early Childhood Australia (ECA) conference 2019

The ELSA team have just returned from a fun and very productive week in Hobart for the 2019 Early Childhood Australia (ECA) conference.

Our new ELSA ambassador—the one-and-only Luke Carroll—helped out at our stall and took some photos with ELSA educators, conference delegates and many of his fans!

Before the conference started, we visited two ELSA Pilot centres in Tasmania to see ELSA in action. We also and interviewed the educators about their experiences with the program. We loved seeing all the children playing ELSA activities at Campania District School and South Hobart Primary School. Thank you to the lovely educators and principals for accomodating us and making us feel very welcome.

Opening night – ECA

The opening night of the ECA conference (Wednesday 25 September) was a fantastic opportunity to meet many of the 1000+ Australian and international delegates and speakers. We showcased our 4 children’s apps and suite of resources: 4 picture books, board games, card games, and plush characters. The ELSA team also talked to educators about the Educator app, it’s ability to track children’s progress, manage user-generated content, and the 100+ off-app activities available to use in their centre.

Luke Carroll at ECA

On Thursday, our ELSA ambassador Luke Carroll dropped by the stall to chat to conference delegates and take some photos using our social media ‘selfie frame’. This was a big hit! And so were our ELSA gummy bears.

Presentations at ECA

On Friday morning, our academic staff—Associate Professor Kym Simoncini and Dr Kevin Larkin—along with ELSA Communications Coordinator, Amanda Levido, presented to conference delegates. Their session was titled Spatial Reasoning and Early Learning STEM Australia (ELSA): Evidence-based practice. After the presentation, the ELSA stall was busier than ever, with inspired delegates wanting to know how they could join the pilot program. It was great talking to so many people who are clearly passionate about early learning and play-based learning. Many couldn’t wait to sign up to our mailing list for updates on the future of ELSA.

One of our star ELSA educators also presented at the ECA conference. Kim Lavercombe from C&K Oakey Community Kindergarten showcased her work with the ELSA program. She was joined by Robyn Mercer—Principal Advisor Curriculum and Pedagogy—from C&K QLD. Their session was titled STEM Education in early childhood. Kim also presented a poster as part of ECA, titled Embracing STEM through ELSA and Play.

Highlights from the ELSA stall

And if all that wasn’t enough, below are some more highlights from our ELSA stall at ECA. Each day a delegate won an ELSA prize pack. You can see them below, proudly holding their prizes wrapped in bright red ELSA paper.

We all had such a great time at ECA 2019, and hope to see you all again at next year’s conference.