Topic of Interest – ICTs in Early Childhood 2

Hello fellow educators and Bloggers,

Well as we all come closer to the end of our PE placements I am sure there has been a great deal of interesting ICTs integrated into lessons.  When I first started investigating this topic I was aware of many great Web-based interactive games/activities (search my Blog under resources to find some of these) and was looking for what other ICTs could be useful in the early years.  Since starting my PE placement though I have discovered some more interesting and very useful Web-based resources that I really felt I should share (see links/videos below).

Reading Eggs

Phonics Bug 

Education City

Phonics Play 

As well as these resources my PE site have also introduced a fabulous new Observation/Documentation program called ILD (Interactive Learning Diary).  I have Blogged about this before but if you missed it have a look here.

Many of the resources at my PE placement may be familiar to many of you including a Promethean IWB, digital cameras, computers, printers, projectors, etc.  Another interesting resource they had was StoryPhones.  These are tough MP3 players designed especially for delivering audio resources to early learners.  In my PE site they are used a great deal for listening to stories as well as music both inside and outside. 

I wanted to see what resources others may have found in their investigations so I turned to my PLN.  First I went into Diigo where I found:

  • Apps We Use In Kindergarten by Matt Gomez.  I particularly like the idea of story telling apps and he had other Blog links to some dance activities such as Just Dance Disney, which look fab for young children keen on dancing.
  • E2BN ICT in the Early Years.  This site has many ideas, resources and planning suggestions for integrating ICTs in Early Learning (I really liked their ideas of taking BeeBots outside as well as using OHPs to project plant & animal shapes onto a board.
  • Allana Young’s post about YouTube Videos to help with teaching days of the week.  This reminded me of the wonderful resource YouTube can be for teaching young learners and I also used YouTube videos during my PE to demonstrate many things such as sporting activities as well as sharing special stories.

I then went to my Google Reader to see what others had posted about and found:

WOW!!!  What a lot of fabulous resources, ideas and suggestions are out there!  I have definitely discovered there is more to ICTs in Early Education than just interactive games.  I have already engaged in using some of these ICTs during my PE placement but am also keen to investigate integrating some of the others in future planning.

Kate.

Another ICT Innovation – Light-bot.

Hi again fellow bloggers and educators,

Another one of the top innovations recognised in the 2012 Nesta report Decoding Learning: The proof, promise and potential of digital education (Luckin, Bligh, Manches, Ainsworth, Crook and Noss) was Light-bot.  This is an online game that requires learners to choose from a set of simple directions to make the ‘bot’ move to the desired target and is aimed at Primary-aged learners encouraging the development of basic and simplified programming skills and understandings.  Students access the free online game though some teacher guidance is/may be required.

 Another activity that is similar to this but more hands-on is Lego WeDo.  This Lego construction set is aimed at children 7+ and encourages them to first build the robot and then use simplified programming to make it move.  There is more involved in this activity but for those hands-on learners in the class it is a big hit. 

 This activity can be built on and for more experienced students there is the Lego Mindstorms sets requiring more complicated builds, features and programming.

Taking a step back from here but still looking at hands-on uses of simplified programming is Bee-Bots, which is aimed at younger learners.  It is similar to Light-bot but children interact with a ‘Bee-bot’ and are encouraged to direct it along a path on a mat.  This mat has a town displayed on it and children can program their bot to go to a variety of real-life destinations such as the bank, hospital or even school.

All of these resources provide lots of fun for children while also encouraging the development of their basic programming skills.  Have a look at them and let me know what you think.

Kate.

 

References.

Luckin, R., Bligh, B., Manches, A., Ainsworth, S., Crook, C., & Noss, R.  (2012).  Decoding Learning: The proof, promise and potential of digital education (Research Report).  London: Nesta.