This video from the field features children collaborating to figure out how to take pictures of each other so that they can appear in our “Photo Friends” game. Add a dash of teacher facilitation and a thoughtfully designed game for math learning, and we have a very potent combination for learning with technology.
Deft teacher facilitation is absolutely critical to taking full advantage of technology in a Pre-K classroom. Three children plus three iPads equals an individualized, social learning experience for these children.
This child is playing our Lemonade Stand game for the first time. This was a HIGHLY debated game mechanic – using the accelerometer – kids lifting and shaking the tablet not only caused concern about damage but also that the mental energy consumed by learning the game mechanics would displace mathematical thinking. The “cognitive load” of learning and switching between multiple advanced game mechanics does not appear to be getting the way of his math learning.
Picked up the paper lately? Or – more likely – have you taken a look at the online edition of The New York Times on your smartphone or tablet lately? If so, you may have seen the Education Issue of the Science section that ran on September 2, 2013, featuring groundbreaking work and research in science and math education, including – you guessed it! – Next Gen Math! Journalist Lisa Guernsey, who joined us in on one of our visits to our preschool partner sites during our prototype development phase, writes that “scientific research on the educational value of apps is nearly nonexistent. The NextGen project is trying to change that.”
Having our fifteen minutes of fame in The New York Times is, of course, a dream for us. But even more exciting is the fact that is just the beginning of the conversation about technology and curriculum in early education centers. We’re hoping that our focus on the student, the teacher, and the learning will steer the conversation in the right direction from the get-go.
Read the full article, and let us know what you think about apps in the preschool classroom!
In the midst of all the passionate discussions about technology in the classroom, this video reminds us of what’s at the core of what we are doing.
And for those of you new to us:
NGPM is an NSF-funded learning design research project that expands over the period of four years. Our team is focusing on determining the best approach to integrating technology — in our case, tablet games — into the preschool classroom to teach math. We’re providing multiple opportunities for learning, from tablet apps to non-digital games and hands-on activities, to real world applications of the learning in preschoolers’ every day lives.
Our development team is working hand-in-hand with learning scientists, preschool teachers, and children to create the materials that comprise the Next Generation Preschool Math project.