Technology in Preschool
“It is a joy to see how our smartboard has opened the world of technology for the youngest students at Allen by providing exciting hands-on experiences, virtual field trips, educational lessons and interactive games.” Christine Malcuit
Our Preschool provides a wide variety of exciting hands-on activities for our little ones. It is because of this interactive approach that we are able to integrate technology into our classrooms. Incorporating technology in the classroom is a wonderful way to introduce new concepts, extend lessons and provide individualized activities for students. For example, when discussing the growth of a pumpkin, each child plants a seed and watches it grow in our garden. It is often difficult for the students to connect what is happening underground because they cannot actually “see” the growth. If students are able to take a virtual field trip to a pumpkin farm, listen to a farmer describe the process and watch a time-lapsed video of the growth, the students can now “see” the stages of a pumpkin’s growth. This same topic can be extended through interactive activities such as: dancing to a variety of pumpkin songs, using the touch screen to sequence the growth of a pumpkin and listening to members of the Screen Actors Guild read aloud stories about pumpkins. The students can then apply their knowledge by creating a drawing of a pumpkin with our smartboard, and then record their voice as they share their thoughts on the unit. The possibilities are limitless! Technology is used to compliment our hands-on activities and can enhance an active science lesson by extending the learning into the areas of math, language arts and social studies. This gives the students the opportunity to truly “experience” a concept and apply their learning in a variety of areas – not just memorize facts that are soon forgotten.
As a teacher, I have seen growth in my students with the addition of technology to classroom activities. I am able to incorporate IPads and the smartboard into group lessons, partner activities and to individualize our curriculum based on each student’s ability. The children love singing along with animated alphabet letters as they learn the names and sounds of each letter. They are able to practice fine motor skills by forming letters with writing apps that provide self-correcting activities. Friends can challenge each other with a game of letter or sight word bingo as they review letter sounds and begin pre-reading skills. Individualized lessons can be created to assist children who are struggling with a concept or enrich students who need an extra challenge. Hands-on activities, creative play and technology all play a critical role during this early stage of a child’s life. As an educator, it is important to provide a balance of activities while encouraging academic growth and individual enrichment. When classroom activities are paired with technology it allows children to experience a world of opportunities and to excel as never before.
– Christine Malcuit: Preschool Teacher