The digital revolution is having a positive effect on young children as Kindergartners show math and literacy skills using iPads by playing games designed for them.
In Concord Massachusetts, Alcott School kindergarteners impressed the School Committee by playing games on an iPad mini that demonstrated proficiency in math and literacy.
Forty iPad minis were a gift from the Concord Education Fund to the four kindergarten classrooms at the elementary school. Teachers Colleen Desmond and Gayle Chatlosh prompted the children, whose devices were hooked up to a large screen for the audience.
“We are so excited with these,” said Alcott Principal Sharon Young.
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The young students played a literacy game called Lexia that responded to correct answers with hearty cheers and whistles. They also played a math game, Dreambox, to the delight of the committee and audience. The teachers said the devices are in alignment with the Common Core standards.
“The games are so fun and advanced and stuff,” said a student after completing a level of Dreambox. “I like it.”
The teachers can adjust the settings and get reports on who is playing each game to identify strengths and weaknesses according to the student. They said with 10 devices per classroom, the students rotate in roughly three groups for approximately 10-minute sessions several times a week.
“It’s different every day,” said Chatlosh. But there is always a teacher at the table with the device, she said.
“It’s another teaching tool,” said Desmond. “I enjoy it.”
Committee member Phil Benincasa, identifying himself as a “chalk and blackboard guy,” asked if the devices caused competition for attention, but the teachers said the devices “go into time out” if there is any fighting over use.
“It’s their world,” said Desmond. “It’s 21st century learning. We need to embrace it.”
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