[IAEP] Observations and feature requests based on watching a preK class use a computer lab

Caroline Meeks caroline at solutiongrove.com
Fri Feb 27 15:57:10 EST 2009

Today I visited a computer lab at a school in Boston where 3-5 year olds
(the PreK class) were using the computers in the computer lab.

The teacher tried to get them to use Kidspirations to look at and stamp bugs
but they rebelled. All they wanted to do was use KidPix.

We need a paint program that is as cool as KidPix or we will suffer the same
fate. They will turn off Sugar and go back to Windows to use KidPix!

In Kidpix the students learned that they need to use the mouse and not the
keyboard. By the time I left all students had managed to learn to use the
mouse to make something on the screen.  I saw some kids make the connection
that they had done something with the mouse and it had appeared on the
screen.  Some were painting with colors, others were stamping with images.
Some kids had learned how to erase the screen and start over.

Clearly learning was going on.  I thought to myself, "what would take this
lesson to the next level for these students".  I think, based on the
interactions the teachers were having as they spent individual time with the
students, that it would be valuable to these students to begin to tell
stories about their pictures.  It would be cool if the kids could record a
voice note when they saved a picture in the journal.  This could help the
teachers move them towards telling stories about thier pictures. I think
that would in turn motivate them to want to control what they did with the
picture more.

Our goal with the journal is to get kids to reflect on thier work.  For many
of the students in the age range we serve typing that reflection is going to
be a challenge and we might well get more thoughtful reflection if they
could speak it.

Caroline Meeks
Solution Grove
Caroline at SolutionGrove.com

617-500-3488 - Office
505-213-3268 - Fax
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