We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Technology doesn’t teach kids—teachers teach kids. Of course, great technology and an effective digital curriculum certainly can enhance learning, which is why we think ed tech is one of the best tools a great teacher can have.
But integrating digital technology into the classroom takes some creativity (not to mention finesse) so we polled a couple of expert early learning teachers to find out the creative ways they use to integrate technology into their lessons. Here’s what they said:
Idea #1: “There’s a math game that my kids play on tablets where they find and recognize shapes and turn those shapes into robots. I have them play the game in small groups for a bit, then we push the tables aside and I set out a bin full of boxes, empty cans, tennis balls, pipe cleaners and buttons and let them build their own robots.” —Heidi, kindergarten teacher
Idea #2: “I firmly believe that kids in this generation must learn to use technology effectively at an early age in order to be successful—not only in school but in life. So, I work really hard to make sure my kids are digitally literate. One of my favorite things I do is our daily 20-minute ‘Techie Time’ where we work together to learn one new thing with technology. Sometimes I let the kids play a new game on a set of tablets, sometimes I show them a cool trick on the interactive whiteboard and sometimes I just let them explore a tech tool on their own. They love it!” —Cassie, pre-K teacher
Idea #3: “Every Tuesday between 10 and 11 a.m., we have ‘Mad Science Time’ where I introduce my students to something science-related in a really simple way. Usually we start with a video clip or a photo to introduce the topic, then we break into three small groups. The first group plays a digital game about the topic on our classroom tablets, while group two works on some sort of hands-on activity and the third group does a mini-experiment with me. The kids love it, and I’m shocked at how much they learn!” —Amy, pre-K teacher
Idea #4: “Every year, we celebrate ‘Spring Into Spring Day.’ I tear down all of the winter decorations and leave the bulletin boards blank. Then, we spend the day turning the classroom into a springtime wonderland. I load a bunch of spring-themed digital games onto tablets to inspire the kids to start thinking “spring,” we decorate a bunch of spring-themed crafts, we study calendars and time to talk about seasons, and we even have a spring-themed snack to finish off the day.” —Elizabeth, kindergarten teacher
Want more early learning ideas? We’re hosting a Twitter Party on that very topic! Join us on Thursday, April 24, 2014, to learn more and for a chance to win one of over $1,500 in prizes!