Kindergarten Pilots iPad Program
The iPad workstations installed this fall in each of the three Kindergarten classrooms have generated much excitement. In fact, it is difficult to tell who is more enthusiastic about the newly-launched initiative, the teachers or the students.
In researching the program and its merits for enhancing the curriculum at Key, the Kindergarten faculty and Pre-School Division Head Susan Rosendahl used the summer months to gain familiarity with the array of available Apple applications, identifying those that would be most beneficial in enriching Key students’ experiences. “The more I worked with the programs and discovered the potential benefits for us, the more certain I became about introducing this tool to the Kindergarten this year,” said Dr. Rosendahl.
Technological innovations, when carefully assessed and thoughtfully integrated, provide worthy opportunities for enhancing curricular objectives. With this in mind, Library and Technology Department Head Marilyn Meyerson and Pre-School technology integrator Nina Glime, along with the Kindergarten faculty, are working collaboratively to bring the best content-rich, game-based learning into Key’s classrooms.
“This type of interactive play, when used thoughtfully, has tangible educational benefit,” said Ms. Meyerson. “The built-in levels of challenge and reward systems motivate children to consistently seek increased levels of understanding and achievement. The variety of ‘apps,’ the user-friendly screen, and easily navigable features enable the children to pick up the iPad, turn it on, find an application, and begin working within minutes of contact. This device is intuitive for these kids. Additionally, well-designed educational apps promote collaboration and problem-solving skills.”
Teacher Nancy Leventhal agrees, “We are very excited to have these tablets in each of the classrooms, and the educational games and drawing programs are opening up whole new worlds of learning for students.” Students have been able to create visuals in class as they explored the use of the various tools, and send their finished artwork to their parents via email. Whether tackling a math problem or creating a map, this connection between School and home is an exciting bridge that provides many possibilities for exchange. “Of course, these apps and devices are not intended to take the place of teacher-student interaction or active play,” said Dr. Rosendahl. “We are effectively harnessing the iPads to promote curiosity, support the children’s ability to think, and develop problem-solving skills.”
From The Key Review - Fall 2011