Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Raising the Standard of Technology in Schools

I hope we can all agree that education is a top priority when it comes to our children. We want what is best for them and we want them to be able to have a great environment for them to learn, grow, and help foster who they will be when they get older and out on their own. 

I hope we can also agree, that with the digital age growing at exponential rates, it is also important that are schools stay upgraded and on top of everything the digital age has to offer. With the explosion of the internet, and now the app world taking over, the digital age not only brings us new ways to connect with people, but also new ways to learn, gather information, and teach others. Let's look at a few areas of the tech world that can help with our children and education, and the pros and cons of it all. 

The Internet and Social Media - Do I really have to talk about how big of a teaching tool the internet can be? All of the information you could ever want to access right at your fingertips. The internet has revolutionized the way we do many things over the years. From shopping, to booking hotels and flights. As well as the way we educate children. There are thousands upon thousands of web pages dedicated to children. Learning web sites, interactive learning games, to resources on how to get your children interested in learning.

Social media, as a mainstay of the internet world, is also becoming a great teaching tool. Teachers can "like" their favorite book publishers, teaching resources, and children's manufacturer's on Facebook. They can follow wonderful children's brands, writers, and education pioneers on Twitter. From StumbleUpon, to Digg, Google Buzz, and Reddit, there are many resources for connecting educators with other educators. There are many places to go for curriculum ideas and links to web sites to use in the classroom. Not only are we connecting people to people, but resources with resources. We are connecting educators to like minded people to better reach our children, and better educate the little futures of this world.

Educators should have the basic abilities to connect with people and resources all around the world, to further their understanding and knowledge of education, as well as use social platforms as fun learning tools for students. From high school Twitter, Google, and Bing search games to seek out information, to elementary schools having access to websites that promote higher learning and build fun to use teaching resources. We need to raise the bar in our schools. Not only can we expand on new and developing technologies, we can expand the horizons of the ones we teach. 

Children Are Capable of Operating Tech Devices at Earlier Ages - My son is a big technology fan. Nana and Papa come to visit and he wants to play games on Nana's iTouch. He can navigate where he needs to go for the games he wants to play. On the computer, he can efficiently (for a 3 year old) navigate the screen (with a little help sometimes) and learns very quickly what to do for the next time. My daughter is not quite to that point, but I'm sure will follow in her brother's footsteps. Children all over the world are adapting to technology at almost alarming rates. They are raised around more sophisticated tech devices, at earlier ages, and the result is really not that surprising. They are well tuned to the use of these devices. 

The App World -  Internet? Yes, while a tried and true source for educational materials, you cannot ignore the encroaching role of the app world. iTouch, iPad, iPhone, they all ring very familiar tones in our heads (and not the ringtone variety either). Now the Google Droids and other smartphones and tablet devices are exploding their store doors with apps. You can get everything from an app. News, weather, social media sites, and yes, educational tools. 

There are many companies out there who are making apps on a wide range of devices, geared towards education. These are companies that "get it" and have become a powerful force in the app making world. ABC's, there is an app for that. Colors and shapes, there is an app for that. Animals, countries, capitals and more, there are apps for that. Useful tools, games, and interactive applications can be utilized to build on technology, and educate our children in new and fun ways. 

There are many ways that expanding on new technology can expand the ways we educate. Our schools deserve the ability to tap into the ever growing resources and use them to stimulate, educate, and captivate little minds and drive their desire to learn. No child should be left behind, and all children should have the same rights to better education, higher learning, and the invitation to success.

And Now For Something I KNOW You Will Enjoy

Allow me to introduce you to Little Brain Apps  and Animal Friends! Little Brain Apps, has developed the Animal Friends app for the Apple iPad and is graciously sharing 3 app codes for Animal Friends!

Little Brain Apps is a passionate and talented team of developers, art creators, leaders, and management, dedicated to bridging the worlds of technology, children, and education. Their philosophy:

  1. Kids learn from playing -- make things fun
  2. Creativity and curiosity are to be treasured -- nurture them
  3. Children deserve the highest quality -- exceed people's expectations. 

Thank you Little Brain Apps for sharing these codes with us today! Check them out on the web and on Twitter and watch for more exciting children's apps in the future!

The Codes:


For each person using a code, from iTunes on their computer:

1) go to the iTunes store
2) click "Redeem" listed under "Quick Links"
3) enter your code
4) click the "Redeem" button
5) sync your device

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree, technology should play a part in children's education, as long as we use technology to teach kids how to be producers and not just consumers of techy gadgets, I'd say that's the future!

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