Their teaching assignments stretched the state of Tennessee –teachers who teach Tennessee’s children! We focused on effective use and integration of technology with young children (e.g., preschoolers). Concepts and skills included: technology integration vs. use of technology, technology integration orientation (e.g., teacher directed, student focused), Everette Roggers’ Diffusion of Innovation (e.g., knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, and confirmation), digital citizenship, web 2.0 tools and iP** apps.
We tuned into YouTube (using it as a How to … ), VoiceThread (http:voicethread.com), Google Translate (http://www.google.com/then, look under More) and Weebly (http://weebly.com)
Mobile technology is changing our society – including our young children. Young children are spending more and more time in front of a media screen! More than 800, 000 Apps are available for young children to access on iPhone/iPods/iPads. The market for Andriod Apps is on the rise, too! Amazing!
We discussed the guidance and leadership in place by the early childhood professional organizations (e.g., Association for Childhood Education International, National Association for the Education of Young Children, American Montessori Society). In all cases, the responsible of effective use and integration of technology in the responsible of the care giver (e.g., parents, teachers). Today, the decision is not to remove technology from our youngster, but to be responsible for our actions, as we guide and teach them to become digital citizens, regardless of the age. Technology does not take the place of the caregiver! 8)
How do we choose appropriate apps?
It’s the Three C’s: content, context, and the individual child. Be picky about the content of what children see on-screen, and when choosing interactive titles, seek out those that put children in control without so many dead-ends and distractions. (Common Sense Media, a nonprofit children’s advocacy organization, is making this a little easier with its just-released website that rates apps for their learning potential.) Focus on context by being aware of what is happening before, during, and after children play their games or watch their shows, taking time to talk about what they’ve seen, and play some games together. And to accomplish that last C, tune in to which games and shows really interest your kids, what piques their curiosity and helps them relate to people and things around them.
Apps for Young Children
Cupcakes! by Maverick Software and Cookie Doodle by Shoe the Goose
Elmo’s Monster Maker by Sesame Street
Babyfaces by appsNminded
Drawing Pad by Darren Murtha Design
Toca Doctor by Toca Boca
Smacktalk by Marcus Satellite
iPad Apps (ages 3-4)
App Tips for ALL Kids
· Establish rules around downloading. The key to keeping apps age appropriate is making the rules before anyone goes app shopping.
· Limit screen time. Even if the games your kid plays on your smartphone are educational, it's still screen time. So count their smartphone time in their total screen allowance for the day.
· Play with your kid. Many apps (especially those designed for the iPad) are multiplayer. Carve out time to play along with your kid. Sharing the discovery of a new app can be a fun bonding experience.
· Don't go by the developer's age rating. The age rating listed in the app description is from the developer, and they can be way off. Use Common Sense Media's ratings and reviews instead.
· Look for age-appropriate apps with quality content. There are so many apps in the app store that it's easy to ignore the iffy ones and find the ones that are worth your kid's time.
· Establish a spending limit. Apps can add up. Call us cheap, but we like the free ones!
Watch out for ad bombardment. Many "free" apps make their revenue by selling ads. Show your kid how to tell what ads look like.
And I reminded them, that the first five years in a child's life are very important in the teaching/learning process. They would be the teachers of babies born last week (and this week) and introduced them to our grandson - Davis.
A special thanks to Dr. Whaley for the invitation and to those who participated. Let me know what I can do to help.