The digital world is not something I would normally blog about as I prefer to share the practical activities we enjoy, so this is an unusual post for me.
I’m after some advice!
There is no doubt that our children are growing up in a very different world to the world I grew up in (or even started teaching in) – there was no internet for me as a teenager – or for much of my twenties! I completely understand that they need preparing for it and that we need more people who can code and do ‘technical wizardry’ in the future, but it does worry me how ‘lost’ the children can become when using technology. How unsocial they can be at times.
Also, from a physical point of view, I worry about their necks and spines – there is a lot of ‘stooping’ over an iPad. I’d be really interested to know your thoughts about this and if there is anything you can suggest to counteract the negative impact on their physical development. Maybe some of you have had advice from Occupational Therapists or Physiotherapists? Please let me know if you do!
I’d also like to know if if you’ve found some amazing devices or apps to use with young children that can add something new to our practical and stimulating environment. These are the ones we currently have:
Do you have any other suggestions?
We have access to a variety of equipment (such as iPads, cameras, torches, digital photograph album, sound buttons, programmable toys, the OHP etc) as well as a variety of ‘role play’ equipment (keyboards, old laptops, mobile phones, cameras, telephones and so on) and they are always popular.
I have to confess though, that I do feel that they learn more, on a practical level, from the loose parts & opportunities I provide for them in and outdoors. Their personal and social skills are often commented on by visiting adults when they are engaged on a more practical level and I do worry that these can go out of the window when they are on something like the iPad. I don’t see the sort of collaboration and problem solving I see when the children play with loose parts like this…
Maybe you could help me with some ideas?!
I’m not sure if this app is still available in the app store, but we enjoyed using ‘My Custom Soundboard HD’ for some phonics work – you can see how we used it in this (old) post here. They did enjoy this and it definitely encouraged them to think about sounds as part of their free play. Perhaps I need more activity suggestions like this!
So, do you have any other ideas as to how I can incorporate technology into my 3 and 4 year olds class that will help prepare them for the future but still encourage the independent thinking and collaboration that I so value as part of our learning?
Our Interactive Whiteboard has been fitted this summer (it was put in the wrong place when we moved into our new building 2 years ago), so if there are any websites you’d recommend that would be great too.
I should mention that we rely on technology for the children’s Learning Journeys… we use the online Learning Journal, ‘Tapestry‘ – and love it (as do the parents and children)! It has done wonders for bringing our class community together and I wouldn’t want to go back. The parents love being able to see what their child is doing throughout the day and we equally love receiving pictures and videos from home. Amazing!
Anyone who follows any of my accounts will know that I love social media – I absolutely love sharing photos of the things we do in school. However, I do know how I can lose a few hours to it, when I only intended to to nip on the computer for 10 minutes. Goodness knows what I would be like if I’d grown up with it!
Incidentally, my friend has written a book based on his experiences with his teenage daughter and social media. You might want to take a look if you are a parent of young children, as it gives great advice on dealing with the use and misuse of social media and is about parents taking control of the devices their children use. Great preparation for the future years (or current years if you already have teenagers)!
It’s FREE TO DOWNLOAD to a Kindle between September 9th and 13th, 2017!
You can find it here.
I’d also recommend this interview with Simon Sinek about ‘Millenials in the Workplace’. Food for thought about the generations we are currently educating! Love this quote from it… “There is nothing wrong with social media, it’s the imbalance.”
So as I said, an usual post from me! I will be back to my usual ‘sharing activities’ posts next time! 🙂
Those of you who are now back at school, hope your new class is settling well!
Thanks for reading!
Would love you to come & say hello! 🙂
– Rachel (“,)