iTouch and Kindergarten: An Intro

December 15th, 2009 Categories: itouch

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I’ve noticed in retrospect in the two schools I’ve worked in that the kindergarten students were and are not thought of as any different than the rest of the primary school regarding technology usage in their classroom. In both schools standard desktops are used as a tool for learning and I saw problems with this; mainly the constant supervision they need with the multitude of buttons and bells and whistles. It’s scary for them!

More thought needs to be put in to how and what technology a school has at their disposal that suits that particular age group. I feel that we don’t kick it up a notch until Grade 2 and above when really our Kindergartners are at a perfect age to be aware and gain experience of relevant technology.

This is where I felt the iTouch could come in to play. Just the initial thoughts of it and relating it to our little guys in Kindergarten got me excited.

The iTouch is:
1. Interactively easy.
With a swipe of a little finger the iTouch is on and raring to go. In my initial observations the students need very little instruction at the start then it is intuitive for them to continue in the same fashion.

2. Relevant.
The students know instantly what the iTouch is albeit they may call it an iPhone. (I have lost count of how many students have said: “Oh my mom/dad has one!”)

3. Resource heavy.
The number of age relevant and specific apps for Kindergarten is mind boggling. I’m pretty sure every subject is covered. I have aligned each unit of our English and Maths curriculum to an app.

4. Tactile
I suppose I could lump this in with interactively easybut I think it deserves a number of its own. Kindergartners need to use their fingers, they need to manipulate, control and get those digits and hands moving ergo it also suits kinesthetic learners not to mention auditory and visual learners as well!

This list will be added to as we go on and my brain does some more learning.

So as you may have gathered I brought forward a proposal to purchase iTouches for our Kindergarten grades. With the help of a willing Kindergarten teacher we trialed and tested a number of apps and brought it to our principal. Yadda yadda yadda we are awaiting our first batch anon!

I am so very excited for our kindergarten students and teachers. They deserve to have relevant technology to assist their learning. I was amazed when I first observed our students using them. The learning curve was so shallow that minimal observation is required and the concentration and visible engagement that were on the students’ faces was enthralling.

This is the beginning of our journey but I am proud of our initial steps and you know what, it’s time to be proud of myself  and the forward thinking Kindergarten teachers too!

I’m also proud of technology!

This exciting chapter is to be continued…

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16 Responses to “iTouch and Kindergarten: An Intro”

  1. December 15th, 2009 at 05:47
    1

    Children needs time to be children and takes time to understand something. This very right thing and a very nice post. We have to determine what is really happening or what is the development of our children so we must know the things going on inside kindergarten to be able of guiding our children towards better future.

  2. December 15th, 2009 at 06:59
    2

    A great post that really gets to the heart of the matter. Tactile learners…visuals…everything you need and with limited supervision.

    It works.

    Now…if we could get them all Tweeting!
    …but that’s another story.

    Keep us updated dude.
    r.

  3. MaggieSwitz
    December 15th, 2009 at 08:06
    3

    Great – would love to do this with KG here in Zug. Can you give me an idea of what apps you have to support the maths and English please.

  4. colingally
    December 15th, 2009 at 12:54
    4

    Maggie – I will get a post up going in to a bit more detail regarding the apps before we leave for the holidays at the end of the week

  5. Janine
    December 15th, 2009 at 15:09
    5

    Just wondering… Which iPod Touch did you choose? Is 8GB enough? I’m thinking it probably would be, since most apps are not that large, but people have been famously wrong when it comes to estimating storage required into the future! The 8GBs are obviously much more economical to buy. I’d love to have few to use in my Japanese classes, which I teach from kindergarten to Year 6. The little ones would love to do things like record themselves and hear it back, and there are some fun languages apps out there.

    I look forward to reading more about your project.

  6. December 16th, 2009 at 11:27
    6

    I couldn’t agree more! We’ve been using the iPod Touch in the Kindergarten for the past year, and it has been absolutely fabulous. The kids are great with them, very respectful, and look forward to learning with them.

    I believe lower elementary students are consistently overlooked and underrated, and we as a teaching community need to consider their needs as well.

    I have a 4 year old and a 2 year old, and both are amazing with the iPod Touch. Because of the visual cues with each app having its own icon, even my 2 year old can scroll to his favourites.

    Glad to hear you’ll be starting off with them. I look forward to hearing how it all goes.

    K-L

  7. Clive Dawes
    December 16th, 2009 at 15:01
    7

    Colin
    Do you have HK iTunes accounts to download your apps? How have you managed this? HK iTunes appears to have nowhere near the range of apps as elsewhere.

  8. colingally
    December 21st, 2009 at 14:59
    8

    Hey Clive, we are having no issues getting what we need from the App Store.

  9. smilieface80
    January 2nd, 2010 at 04:06
    9

    *triple thumbs up* love your post, even though I’m a bit late…. =P

  10. Will
    March 22nd, 2010 at 05:42
    10

    Just stumbled on the post the other day and was inspired. We have just introduced touch screen computers to our computer labs and have noticed how much difference it has made with our younger students (age 3-6). So much more natural.

    We were thinking on similar lines as what you have got going in your school – why not introduce more touch sensitive resources into the younger grades. We were thinking of getting some ipod touchs and using them in the classrooms.

    As someone who is already using them do you have any favourite apps that you could recommend? Would love to have a starting point to move on from.

    Thanks again for the post

  11. colingally
    March 22nd, 2010 at 12:24
    11

    Thanks for the reply Will, much appreciated.

    The list of apps we have so far for the little ones is as follows:
    AlphaBetic $1.99
    Learn Time $0.99
    abc PocketPhonics $1.99
    Alphabet Soup $1.99
    iWrite Words Tracing $1.99
    iWrite Words Uppercase $0.99
    iWrite Words Lowercase $0.99
    iWrite Numbers $0.99
    Tangrams $0.99
    Tic-Tac-Touch: FS5 (FREE) $0
    Shape Builder- the preschool learning Puzzle game $0.99
    Word Magic $0.99
    Tell Time $1.99
    Polygons- Easy Math Fun $0.99
    SpinArt $0.99
    Pattern Blocks $0.99
    Toddler Teasers Shapes $0
    Build A Word $1.99
    PandaWords Chinese Writing For Kids – Level 1 $3.99
    Preschool Adventure $0.99
    Whiteboard Lite: Collaborative Drawing $0.99
    Early Reader $0.99
    ABC Ladybug Tree- Kids Bug Catching Alphabet Game $0.99
    Chinese 4 Kids – Animal Kingdom $0.99

    A group of us are trying to get an edu app review site off the ground. Slowly but surely. http://www.appsforedu.com

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