Inside Learning & Using Tech:
For anyone who has a little-one, being at home and not being able to have your child go out and just play has had its ups and downs. In the connected age, there were already worries and research on the impact of digital devices on cognitive development and attention spans. As well as the research showing the contrary, helping improve cognitive development and motor skills
However, as any parent will say during the Covid crisis; a tablet has been a swiss-army knife tool for parents needing to work from home. Of course, pretty much every parent hates seeing their child’s day dominated by “screen-time” but as opposed to seeing this an object of distraction and corruption what if we just call it what it is; a tool.
Games throughout human history have been used culturally to help facilitate learning. From Moksha Patam or Snakes and Ladders seen in the 2nd century in India , to the more recent Cattan board games; these are just an analog to “apps.” Games as a platform of learning, even for early ages (Candyland anyone?) by way of being able to manipulate things, understand turns, patience, cooperate, or compete with someone that, subsequent, builds strategy or teach cause and effect. Fast forward through the ages and we now have 3d graphics as game pieces, and a screen of pixels as a game board.
Here have been a few of my go-tos that have helped me hack screen-time, or dare I say gamify, in becoming learning time.
Skill up: Teach Typing
How about turning that touchscreen into a skill builder. Is it ever too young to teach typing? Add a spare Bluetooth keyboard to a tablet and have them start learning that home-row finger placement. Oh yea, and there is a ninja level that, at least for my tot, is an intensive to improve accuracy in the lesson.
Language and Literacy
Endless Reader / Endless Reader Español
Cute monsters, little stories, teaching sightwords and spelling; wins all around.
DuDuolingo ABC – Learn to Read
Duo the Owl is back, but instead of teaching us a foreign language in our lunch break this app helps teach young ones the alphabet, beginning handwriting, and spelling.
Khan Academy Kids
Has its ups and downs, can be a bit heavy in media and not in activity but can be a good tool for occasional use.
Easy Music – Give kids an ear for music
Good for introducing the concepts of beat and rhythm, and having children experiment with music tactilely.
ABC Spelling – Spell & Phonics
Bright color characters, teaching the alphabet and spelling as puzzle pieces
Inside Out Thought Bubbles
Ok yes, admittedly it is straight up a game. But out of it, my toddler now understands angles so I will say intro to trigonometry and geometry sills anyone?