Do video games teach young children?

I found this great short video about game based learning, which is a little bit different from just playing any video game. I found it very interesting, I hope you do to.

Do the children play video games, are they educational?

Are they addicted?

“Here Ms Zoe, here’s one even you can do.”

The favourite game at the moment is called TRACE. You have to make a person move across obstacles by designing a path. I find it extremely frustrating. There is so much to consider. There are obstacles, gravity, pathways and timing. Today the  children came to me with the simplest version they could find. This illustrates my point perfectly. The children see this as a time to learn, problem solve,  share and help others.

What about K-Perfect and game based learning?

Here is a picture from today

IMG_1668 I have come to think of the class as a colony of bees. They all have roles. Today we have one bee working alone solving a problem in a game. Another bee has come in for some advice. They work alone, they work together, but this is not an isolationist activity. They talk to each other to solve problems, share strategies. The language used is impressive.

Are they addicted?

No… Do they love it and want to get to the next level?… yes. They do want to use this game most of all. Think about it… we all have a favourite addiction: TV show, best run to beat or book to read. Moderation in all things. This is something we need to teach the children and model ourselves.

Watch this space and I will get the children to tell you about Trace.

Come in a tried it.

iPads as research tools for Kindergarten students.

Click on the images to link to app.

Click on image-app info


The children have been researching space using the NASA app. It has weekly NASA news and lots of information. You can see footage of missions taking place now. It also has lots of factual visual information. It also has tweets of current work and photographs and footage. The children were able to listen to footage and look at diagrams and transfer their findings to their model of Mars. I am no space geek but I have found it an easy to use and very informative tool.

Screen shot 2011-01-28 at 8.17.43 AM FREE PLANET APP

Wonderful app. Shows the planets you can see from your location. Check out individual planets. Children gleamed a lot of information about what planets look like and where they are positioned. Great visual showing which parts of the world are night or day.

IMG_1166KP- What do you think of these apps?

You should put them on your iPad.

NASA Video of an astronaunt on the space station now: The lady blow a big bubble of water. She was in space. She was floating.You can see her.

NASA Calendar:There’s a launch and we found it.

Solar System: Saturn has a  ring and Mars is red. You can see the Sun and Saturn. The earth is bigger than the moon. The moon is not a planet. You can see Mars.

iPads: Children tweet their pictures to the blog.

Thought P-perfect were go? Now they are blogging and tweeting by themselves!

Screen shot 2010-12-15 at 1.28.34 PM

I wanted the children to have more control over their blog. Although they are K-Perfect I was not sure I wanted them in the site management area! I noticed all our iPad drawing programmes upload to Twitter.  So does Blocks the computer animated design Lego app. Thanks to lots of brain work from Elif Raskin, Kim Cofino and I, we added a Twitter feed to our blog.

So what?

Today the children spoke messages into my iPhone using Dragon Dictate (bit tricky, need to speak really slowly and clearly). This free app turns the spoken word into text, very cool. I am starting to think of loads of ways to use this in class. The children were really surprised to see the message appear in the blog. Next they drew a picture on the iPad and tweeted it to the blog (see the sidebar on the blog). This is such a great, quick way for children to record their ideas. It was really quite easy and it is all theirs.

What the children said:

We could show your pictures to our mummy’s and daddy’s. Maybe my brothers and sisters would like to see. It’s good because children can do it. You can look at it when you want.

we tweeted their

Please put this on the blog Ms Zoe

How Twitter is helping us in Kindergarten

Keep checking the blog I have a big surprise for the children. They will soon be tweeting.

I have been learning to use twitter and am following @mscofino. She tweeted a great link to an iPad Christmas concert.

I couldn’t wait to get to school on Monday to share it with the children. I didn’t tell them what kind of concert it was. They were enthralled  with it. We decided it should go on the blog. I am please they decided this because it means they are thinking of the blog as their space.

I asked them to justify putting it on the blog:

Show it to family because it is so good.

Show family so they can have the instruments put on their iPad… or the iPad they want to own!

They wanted to see it again.

So here we are an iPad concert.

How can you do all this technology teaching? How can you find the time?

How well is my child doing learning about technology?

IMG_1004Today we created expert badges. Every child picked their area of  technological expertise and we made them a sticky label. They can now help other adults or children. Needless to say they are very proud. PLEASE ask them about their badge.

The children have had the laptops for two weeks now. I have watched them develop a learning community. One person learns something and shares their expertise. This has really made the children consider what they are good at and has made them verbalise their skills.  Sometimes I explicitly teach something to one child and they become the expert and share it with others.

I generally do not teach something twice. Voicethread has been the exception to this, but now I have a little ‘how to’ comment at the beginning of the presentation (I made this as I was teaching the class) and left another one with feedback. The children checked it out and changed their recordings.

This voice thread is the result of a field trip exploring limited space in Yokohama. It is part of our unit of inquiry. The Japanese department took us for a walking tour. The children took the photographs.

NOTE: The children worked out how to do video recording by themselves. I did not teach them this. My ‘how to’ and feedback comments are on the first slide.

Children teaching parents-blog launch and iPad party.

What do you think?

Leave a message on the blog.

At the bottom of each blog press on the word comment. Write in any language you want.

Thank you for making my day and giving your time. Every minute of this was a joy. I was so nervous and the children were so relaxed. They took such control of the event. It was as I thought, they just didn’t need me. I can’t wait to share the video’s with you of the event. I also have loads of great video’s of the children as they are learning.

On another note, their  IT (technology skills) skills are incredible. They teach each other and me. They just go from strength to strength. They buzz around the room like bees. They find out something and take it and show someone else. I teach one child and they teach the others. They  find new things and teaching me. So exciting. I love teaching and learning from this class.

Maybe we should have another Technology party and the children can show you some of the programmes we are using? What do you think?

The children taught the parents to use our blog and iPads. It was a blog launch and iPad party. on PhotoPeach