Friday, February 18, 2011

An ipad and Apps for Early Childhood Education

Other posts you might find interesting.

Well wouldn't you know it!!. My modern brick phone DIED!!! Missing a few important dates as a result of an aging and unreliable battery, ensured its fate. If you read my post on Adaptable technologies & Global issues you will understand - I BOUGHT AN IPHONE!!

Yip I succumbed - with a spring in my step on the precipice of a new learning adventure.

What an adventure it has been. I have loved the iphone4's ability to record quality videos and to quickly and easily share these videos with family and friends. It was an excellent tool to record the birth of our puppies and invite the world to watch them grow. More exciting than that - my sister bought an iphone4 - and with WhatsApp has begun to share videos of my niece and nephew growing up on the other side of the world.

Sitting at work, the videos drop into my pocket, and I am able to share them with children and colleagues instantly.

Can I use my iphone in my Kindergarten?
No doubt about it. I haven't as yet. But that has more to do with personal issues - such as "I use and spend a lot of time and money on the kindergarten, when the kindergarten should purchase its own technologies". I am sure MANY other ECE teachers experience similar domestic discussions on the same topic.

So Manaia Kindergarten is filling in the paper work to justify the purchase of its own ipad. A bigger version of the iphone, I assume it provides similar benefits. I have searched iphone apps for Early Childhood education and been bombarded with Flash Card apps. SURELY there is more to this technology than perpetuating ancient learning techniques such as flash cards. I don't want to teach the Manaia Kindergarten children how to trace letters on the ipad with their fingers. And we have plenty of technologies that offer them games.

Kindergartens need more from iPad apps
So I am in the hunt for apps that will support children's explorations.
• Bug, plant, animal identification apps,
• Video recording
• Picture txting apps (using pics rather than text)
• Voice to text txting app
• Instant blogging apps
• Google Doc editing
• Fundamental movement apps - showing best practice for sport movements, and side by side photo comparisons for children to self assess.

Apps we should be using with young:
• Google maps on excursions
• Skype or Face-to-Face calls

What are your experiences of iphone/ipad Apps for young children?
What apps have you found that support 21C teaching and learning theories and skills?
Maybe some of the above already exist - if so please tell me in the comments.

I look forward to hearing your app reviews and to learning from your experiences.