talk at teachers college ed lab

Last week I had the pleasure of presenting our project to Ed Lab, an amazing organization at Teachers College, Columbia University that promotes educational uses of technology. They were great hosts and the audience had some great questions at the end! 

Where in the world IS Carmen Sandiego?

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Did you learn to type with Mavis Beacon, program with Logo, or explore the world with Carmen Sandiego? Me, too! Yet where is the love for technology in early childhood? Just the other day, I was playing with my 5-year-old niece on my laptop, and my brother couldn’t believe all the things she could do.  He thought she was too young to know how to use and handle a computer. I was shocked, but then realized, he’s not alone. A lot of people think young children and technology don’t mix. Adults see computers and are sometimes reminded of staring at a screen all day at work.  

News flash: Using technology with kids does not mean giving them boring spreadsheets or mindless tasks. With the latest touch screen devices, it now means tilting, touching and even blowing. Who knew?

Forget about everything you thought you knew about teaching and learning. New technologies have the ability to teach your child in fascinating ways. Take virtual manipulatives, for example. Every kindergarten classroom has a set of physical unifix cubes. While a great tool, counting and linking these cubes together takes a lot of time and coordination. Children often think they’ve stacked 10 cubes but have really made 11. With virtual blocks, kids can stack, group, and count accurately and quickly, making it easier to focus on the mathematics.

Through this blog, we’ll explore more ways technology can and should be used with young children. One thing we’ve learned from experience is that great ideas come through collaboration. So help us shape this blog by adding your ideas and comments. We want to hear from you!


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 Rachael