It’s that time of year when schools are asking parents of Prep kids (that’s first year of school age) to think about joining One to One iPad programs. Some schools will ask parents to pay, others will provide an iPad to use at school. For the last few years, I’ve had lots of chats with parents worried about their little kids getting expensive technology. But they really can cope – and they can be good for them. Honest. Here’s why.
We know they take to touch screens like the proverbial ducks. We’ve all seen those videos on YouTube of babies using iPads. Ease of use, makes learning easier.
They also can carry these computers around. They love that they can take it to their desk, to the reading corner, to art class, to the library. They can use it wherever and whenever they need to learn something. For all kids this is great. For kids with different needs, this is especially great.
Our kids can take it on excursions and take photos of what they see. Back at school, we’ll help them take those pictures and turn them into a written recount, or an art project or a sequencing activity. Connecting the outside world to their classroom. Win.
The camera is the most powerful part of an iPad for our little kids. Well, in my opinion at least!! It’s not just the camera – we’ve used cameras and photos in prep classes for years – it’s the way it links to the apps on the iPad. Take a photo at recess of a bug you love. Turn that into a maths lesson, a collage on life cycles or a video story about your magical bug!
The video function of the iPad and the apps, lets them express their ideas, before they can write or read fluently. It lets them talk their ideas, listen back to them and see if they make sense. Genius! Without the iPad or similar easy to use video device, we rely on us teachers explaining why their story doesn’t make sense or needs some work. They have to listen to us tell them – but it’s so much more powerful to let them listen to themselves tell the story :0)
To see what a Prep can do in the first term at school, have a look at this cute video story of a dinosaur, short but cute!
Imagine if we’d asked Sammy (in the vid below) to WRITE this story. He didn’t have those skills at the time and would have (and often did) lose his ideas before he could get them down on paper. We might have assumed that Sammy didn’t understand about dinosaurs. But he does, doesn’t he? iPads can help our kids express what’s in their heads :0)
Aim high with your Preps. They can cope, they really can!!! And it might just help their school beginning!
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