Just Watch? Not me!

As I sat and watched my three-year-old daughter play InteracTV over the weekend, I thought to myself, kids really don’t want to be passive participants.  After all, why should she just sit there and watch Dora when she can go on the adventure with her, overcoming obstacles, giving advice and identifying the elements that will ultimately lead Dora to win the golden cup.   

With a device the size of a small laptop in her hands, my daughter is prompted by Dora, SpongeBob and Elmo to practice her colors, shapes, numbers and vocabulary.  Every response triggers the DVD to give her relevant and immediate feedback, all the while engaging her like no traditional cartoon can. 

Are we ready for these students?  I’d love to hear how you are engaging this generation of active participants in your modern day classroom.


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  1. Debbie Bohanan said:

    In order to engage my students in the learning process, I have implemented a program called KidBiz3000 into our curriculum. With this program students become part of an online learning community through a closed email system.

    After taking a lexile test, the students’ reading level will be used to differentiate their assignments so that everything they read is at their level. This is a fabulous teaching tool. The teacher then searches the database to find nonfiction articles that relate to the content area and at the click of a button, assigns them to their students. Each student receives their assignment in an email with a link to the article. The articles are at the appropriate level for each student so that comprehension of the subject matter can take place. Students are able to complete the activities online and participate in dicussions in the classroom. They have online portfolios so they can begin an assignment at school and continue it at home. Writing assignments and projects are stored electronically and submitted to the teacher upon completion. Students also have access to current events on their reading level.

    Real world simulations occur throughout this program. The students begin using the email system to communicate with their peers and their teacher. As a result of this interaction, their writing skills improve.

    KidBiz3000 has helped me actively engaged students in their learning and they are eager to begin their next assignment.

    Through the use of this program, learning can take place anywhere and at anytime and the student’s love of learning is being developed and encouraged.

  2. Loren Nowak said:

    Too true…My daughter is 11 now, but I remember when she was a little tot and I had her up on my knee in front of the PC. Back then it was a brand new Mac Centris 610 with the new expensive 14.4 external modem option! I had located some early childhood software that used the mouse as a sensor (buttons and movement). Each time she played with the mouse, the computer screen displayed silly combinations of colors combined with sounds. In that way, she was being “just like daddy” who used the PC/mouse to do what must have seemed similar to her. She’d giggle and giggle. Now, this tech-savy 11 year old knows the power of technology and many of the good educational resources that are out there. From time to time, she tells me about the teachers she has at school and describes those who ignore these teaching tools as “real yawners”. I’m glad to work in the ed-tech field. “These students” (those who are like our daughters who had early ed-tech/media interaction experiences at early ages) are the ones that make the educational cybernetics part of working in ed-tech so fun. The technology is ready for these students, but not all teachers are…I think that the Discovery Educator Network can be a strong catalyst for changing this. Keep up the great work DEN!

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