Do you have a tablet, camera, or laptop in your classroom and want more ideas on ways to integrate them into learning activities? Here's five ways to involve your children and have fun while doing it!
1. Online video sharing
With the help of a video camera (or a regular point-and-shoot with video capabilities), you can take videos of your students on field trips or while they are playing indoors or outdoors. Upload them to video-sharing websites, such as YouTube or Vimeo, to give parents and caregivers a look inside your classroom or center during the day.
2. Image and photo editing
Computer programs like Photoshop Elements, Paint, or Pixelmator can give children an opportunity to play around with images and pictures on the computer--or make new drawings themselves! These programs offer fun ways to edit photos that children will love.
3. Word processing
Use programs like Microsoft Word, WordPerfect, OpenOffice, Pages, or even Google Documents to encourage children to create their own stories or recipes, and write them down as they do so. They can also create classroom books, signs, or newsletters to send home to their parents or caregivers.
4. Video chatting or conferencing
Skype, Google Chat, FaceTime, and AIM provide good video chatting platforms for you to use in your classroom. Children can use these programs to communicate with classmates who have moved away, or family members who are deployed in the military; you can also use them to take virtual field trips when travel is not possible.
Expand on the children's experiences with word processing by helping them create presentations in programs like PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, or SlideRocket. They can make signs, slideshows of photos from their field trips, or step-by-step instructions to follow a recipe.
Leave a comment and let us know how you have used technology in your classrooms and centers!
For more guidance in choosing and implementing the right technology tools in an early childhood classroom, check out Digital Decisions by Fran Simon and Karen Nemeth (available in paperback and e-book formats).