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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Use of web2 tools with young kids

Use of web2 tools with young kids

Related Tags: Classroom Technology
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16 Replies 956 Views

With the changing trends of the world teachers strategies and their role in the classroom is also changing each day.Teachers and students must strive to creatively employ technology tools to access, evaluate, synthesize and communicate information. Technology is now a universal phenomenon and teachers can use simple as well as interactive web 2 tools to enhance student motivation to communicate with authentic audiences, spend more time on assigned tasks, and develop essential literacy skills needed for vocational and lifetime success in the twenty-first century.

Technologies like Skype, blogs, podcasts, wiki are quite popular and useful to interact and learn from different people about different cultures.

Can anyone suggest how to use such technologies effectively with young 5-6 yr old kids

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Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
K-4 Technology Facilitator from Northfield, New Jersey
Facilitator 2014

Amina,

Since you said 5-6 year olds, that means we are talking Kindergarten or First Grade. At those ages, literacy skills trump all, and technology needs to be thoughtfully implemented. You didn't mention specific subjects or content areas, if you could that would be helpful. What do you want the students to know and be able to do? I also like Kerpoof.com because the site has many capabilities and activities that can easily span multiple subject areas. In addition, it's mostly an art-based environment, which is a plus when dealing with the little ones.

Voicethread is another resource worth considering. Again, it depends on your goals, but, it's an incredibly rich environment that is easy to navigate and can combine comments in writing, audio, video and even handmade annotations/drawings. Here is an example of a project I did years ago with my Kindergarten students about farm life:

https://voicethread.com/share/809450/

And this blog post explains the story behind it:

http://www.ncs-tech.org/?p=4620

Tell us more about what you want the kids to to and/or learn and we can help you even further.

Best, kj

Phillip Cowell's picture
Phillip Cowell
Tech Coach at Western Academy of Beijing, Director at The Easy App Company

The Easy App Company have created blog uploader apps for both Blogger and WordPress/Edublogs specifically aimed at this age group. We are currently using them with our KR and Grade 1 students with amazing results. Our 70 KG students created 600 posts to their blogs in 30 days!
Here is what an Austrlian teacher emailed me after trying Easy Blog Jr:
Just wanted to tell you some exciting news! I had three teachers at my house today and showed them my edublogs site (which they were excited by) but then I showed them your app and how BASIC and easy it was for early years kids to blog, and well they were falling over themselves to get your app and begin blogging. They thought blogging was for upper primary and was too hard but I showed them your app and they were literally jumping out of their skins! I'm going to promote this app to everyone I know! I've never thought blogging could be so easy for kids (and teachers!)

It really is as revolutionary as she says. You can find more info at theEasyAppComapany.com

All the directors in our company are teachers, and we all use ours apps ourselves - that's how we know they are simply the best.

Amina Ghafoor's picture

Thank you all for an overwhelming response an sharing amazing sites and apps, I must share I feel a novice in this field and exploring these resources.
Kevin Jarret as you asked about the subject area its "Knowledge and and Understanding of the world around Us", a mixture of science and social studies.Our current theme is " Our School" in reference to this I want to give my students an exposure of schools, kids and their learning styles around the world and how technology can help us interact with people around the world. Can you suggest how to go about it...

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
K-4 Technology Facilitator from Northfield, New Jersey
Facilitator 2014

Hi Amina, there are many, many ways to accomplish that objective, with and without tech or Web 2.0 tools. For the sake of argument, let's assume you are considering Voicethread. First thing I'd do would be to go check out some Voicethreads to learn about the app and its capabilities to decide if it's what you want. If the answer is yes, then you could have the students make a statement about their school and ask a question, something like,

In our school we love to read. My favorite book is "X". What is your favorite book?

Have them draw a picture of the book.

Upload the picture to Voicethread.

Have the student read their sentence as a comment on the page.

Repeat for the entire class.

Share the Voicethread with other classes. Invite them to comment. Be sure to enable comment moderation so you can approve everything before it appears.

Watch as the comments come in and conversations ensue.

Does that help? I've grossly oversimplified this example for obvious reasons but you need only give the kids a chance to express themselves, share that work with others, then allow the conversation to happen. Really!

-kj-

Amina Ghafoor's picture

:) yes you have greatly simplified the concept. I'm on the same page just looking for some volunteer with whom I can have a skype or voicethread session( let me explore the voicethread).

AG

Keith Heggart's picture
Keith Heggart
High School Teacher from Sydney, Australia
Facilitator 2014

Hi Amina, great post, and there are some great ideas here, too! I've only had a little bit of experience working with younger children and technology, but I've got two things to share: one example of what we've done, and one guiding principle.

1) The example is similar to some of the ideas already mentioned, but a really good project that I took part in involved students reading their favourite picture books to each other - we did it in partnership with a school in Mexico.

2) The guiding principle is this: I think that at this age, it's really important that teachers provide very clear guidance and supervision. Keep instructions really simple and straightforward. Get students to work in small groups. Rather than individual accounts or blogs, use class ones.

Hope that helps.
Keith.

Amina Ghafoor's picture

Hi Keith, thank you for your support . Yes agree with the guiding principles you shared that for this age group we need simple but clear instructions and I have experienced the learning outcome is better when they work in small groups as they learn better from peers and enjoy they given work in a playful situation.
At the moment i'm facing two issues low connectivity and a volunteer school in the same time zone to try out activities with others on voicethread or skype.
still trying my best and to work out ways for my students ..........

AG

Samer Rabadi's picture
Samer Rabadi
Community Manager at Edutopia
Staff

Amina, where are you located? Maybe there's someone from the Edutopia community in the same/nearby time zone...

Kevin Jarrett's picture
Kevin Jarrett
K-4 Technology Facilitator from Northfield, New Jersey
Facilitator 2014

Hi Amina, there are some great tutorials right within Voicethread itself. Sign in, click 'My Voice,' then click the 'Browse' tab and start watching.

You can also search YouTube for tutorials. This one is good and quick:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jVW_aAyGPE

This wiki also has excellent information including tutorials and even a page to help find classroom partners:

http://voicethread4education.wikispaces.com/

Good luck!

-kj-

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