Everyone remembers the time honored traditional school game of Show and Tell. It was a chance for every child to show their friends their neat new pet or their fairy wings, or the awesome vacation pictures from white water rafting with grandparents over the summer. It helps young children develop confidence in themselves while speaking to a large number of people at one time.
The premise behind Show and Tell is “Let me show you something neat and then tell you about it”. What if we could show our kids a neat new way to learn the alphabet, or the days of the week, and make it fun at the same time? Young Children learn at an accelerated pace what they are shown on a regular basis. Using bright colors and fun music, educational applications make learning feel like a game. The more engaged a child is in a particular activity, the more they will be able to retain the information they learned while participating.
Learning should be fun, not just a linear progression of one set of curriculum to another in the name of the almighty TEST. Common things for young children to learn in pre-school and at home are days of the week, months of the year, seasons, colors, the alphabet, basic weather, amongst other things.
The use of educational applications to teach these things to children will produce a better memory cue than traditional chalkboard learning. On the ipad, kids will watch it snow on the screen with soft music in the background. Kids will hear it rain along with a distant hum of thunder and maybe some lightning bolts thrown in.
Children are visual learners pre-dominantly, and classic school room learning conditions children over time to accept and adapt to one person standing at the front of the room speaking and writing on the chalkboard to demonstrate points rather than through the computer. Show a child a picture or a video of something happening, and they will be able to recall it that much more easily even after one viewing.
Both methods would be more effective if tried together, rather than taking the one versus the other approach. The Chalkboard learning classroom technique helps children build social skills as well as teaching them appropriate classroom behavior. The Assistive technology approach teaches children the lessons faster and more effectively but it lacks the social element that comes with going to traditional school.
Imagine the new Show & Tell as a child stands up in front of her class to show them her week long vacation at an Idaho Dude Ranch with her family including a short video of her zip-lining. Or imagine a boy standing up in front of the class with an Ipad to demonstrate how he figured out the right way to solve a math problem.
Assistive Technology can only make education easier and more engaging for young students, thereby making the teachers’ jobs easier, knowing the children understood the lesson plan and so they can go on to the next lesson plan.
Visual and Verbal learning will be the most effective teaching methods for teachers of young children, and they will find that in learning the basics, those young children will have a better foundation for all the upper level curriculum, and will be more confident and diligent students than those who only use one approach.