Using technology to teach and inspire children is vital in this day where computers are commonplace, digital gadgets are all over the place and technology is so much more accessible.
Many children have their own toy cameras now, which is great to see the world through the eyes of the children.
However, you can try to give the camera usage a little more direction by setting the children photography projects such as:-
You could set the challenge of photographing things that begin with the alphabet letters.
When the pictures are taken, show the children how to load the images onto the computer. Describe what happens as you flick through the pictures and sort them. Show them how you print them and trim to size etc. You could then create a booklet displaying the images in order and writing the appropriate letter on each page.
If your children attend a nursery, there's a good chance that they come home talking about what they've done on a smartboard, and you're possibly left wondering what on earth a smartboard is?! Classroom technology has shifted from blackboards to whiteboards, through acetate projectors and onto computer projectors. The smartboard is your children's generation classroom presentation equipment!
A smartboard is an interactive whiteboard. A computer projects a video display onto a touch sensitive screen and children and teachers can interact with the screen using their fingers or special 'pens', which may also have buttons on like a mouse. Smartboards can be used for a variety of purposes including:-
At one level a smartboard can be used just as a large screen for a computer, but it is enhanced with interactive games that allow people to interface in all sorts of fun ways.
In nursery schools, smartboards are often used for projecting children's TV programmes, telling stories (sometimes interactive) and for educational games to introduce colours, numbers, letters, shapes and other basic learning.
All of this is introducing children to information and communication technology from the age of 3 years and upwards. There's no doubt that children are growing up in a world very different from the one we grew up in; by the time they are starting school at the age of 5, most children already have varied exposure to computers, ICT and numerous digital gadgets!
The use of the internet and computers in schools is becoming increasingly important for learning, research and having fun, but how can we ensure appropriate, and safe use of such a phenomenal resource? ICT is covered in the Early Years Foundation Stage Areas of Learning and Development, so it is recognised that little ones of reception or pre-school age should be introduced to the computer.
The first thing is to do is chat with your child about the internet and what it can be used for. Show them your emails, show them how to type keys and letters on screen.
Try a bit of 'art' with a drawing package, make it fun and simple.
Talk about the internet and what can be found there. Look up a favourite character together, or a local landmark you have been to or a map of your home area. Keep it simple and fun!
As they become more confident and begin to work independently, just be there to guide and help them practice their skills, learn about the keyboard and navigate the child-friendly sites that exist.
Place the computer somewhere central so you can keep an eye on how things are looking. Don't put computers in the bedroom if you can help it. Make it a family event when you do some online games or learning together as a family. Talk about what you are doing on line and make it easy for the children to flag up a problem if they encounter something.
The internet is a fabulous resource, but be aware of the potential dangers of allowing little children too much access.
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has replaced the term 'IT' both in education and business and now forms an important part of preschool eduction. The world that our baby's are growing up in is undoubtedly different from the world we experienced as children. We had no email, no world wide web, no mobile telephones and computers were a rarity. It's not unusual now to find computers ten times more powerful than the ones we first knew inside our children's toys! A good understanding of ICT is essential in order for our children to progress in the 21st century.
The term ICT covers much more than IT; as well as computers it covers an understanding of ordered information, communication such as broadcast, telecoms and the internet, and input and output devices such as digital cameras, robots and music and video players.
Children are introduced to ICT in their preschool settings. They might have 'magic boards', play phones, the internet and have access to computers with integrated learning systems on them. They will be exposed to CD's and DVD's, 'QWERTY' keyboards and drawing tablets.
Outside of their preschool settings you should encourage this aspect of their learning too. If you're a bit of a dinosaur when it comes to computers then you'll have to overcome some of your fears and prejudices - ICT is an essential skill and over the next few years, your children will be introducing you to amazing things that they have learned to do with computers and other technology.
Not every aspect of ICT requires computers. Look at reinforcing ICT topics by introducing your children to analogue information - teach them about printed materials like newspapers, introduce them to maps and teach them about signs, timetables and other forms of information. Teach them about addresses and telephone numbers. The better an understanding they have of information around them, the easier they will find it to grasp more complex issues with regard to ICT later on in life.
The world that our babies are growing up in is very different from the one that we experienced - computers, mobile phones and digital media are the norm. Governments around the world place a strong emphasis on young children learning about this world under the umbrella term ICT - Information Communication Technology. The term ICT covers not just computers, but all forms of technology and media, including television and the various forms of digital music.
Many parents are reluctant to let their babies near computers - partly because they are not childproof, but also because of the fear that they will turn into zombies in no time at all! ICT however has become an important part of early years education and your children will be introduced to computers and technology at nurseries, preschool and school anywhere from the age of 18 months and upwards.
Early on they may be exposed to computer 'whiteboards' where they can draw interactively onto a screen projection, or they may be encouraged to put a CD into a music player and find the right track. They might play with cassette recorders to record themselves singing, and of course they will be snapped on digital cameras for record logs of their progress. Technology is all around us these days, and gadgets will only become more widespread throughout the lives of our babies.
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