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Technology is a wonderful learning tool, however, how effective is it when used with preschool children; taking into consideration using manipulative v/s a two dimensional screen during a time of brain development and sensory integration? I would love to hear other professionals prospective on this topic.
When you're dealing with young students that may not have fine motor controls developed enough, I would think there's a huge need for them to work with physical manipulative rather than a screen. However, that's not to say when students get older they can safely move to a screen and do away with three dimensional objects.
I would argue for a blended learning environment (where physical versus virtual learning manipulatives are concerned). Certain aspects of both 3D and 2D objects will be more aplicable based on age and ability levels, but I feel that the two reinforce one another. For example, students could use color coded LEGO bricks or different markers as a way to diagram a sentence, but doing so on an iPads screen with virtual annotations would be just as applicable, and providing both for your students (if possible), would help.
I think there's a lot of room for this conversation to grow, hoping some others come to chime in!
Thanks Ben for your response. You make an awesome point about age and ability levels as the need for technology.
I am an elementary teacher that loves to use technology with kids of all ages. I had a Smartboard in my room that let the students be very interactive with every lesson. They were engaged and excited to learn. I do believe that they still need to work with manipulatives as these are essential for some types of learners and a huge part of their development.
Thank you Kimberly.
Smartboards are awesome! Highly motivating for the students and an excellent tool for teachers as well; time saving, cleaner, graphics etc. However, Couldn't students be just as interactive and accomplish the same thing as a dry erase board?
It depends on how you're using the IWB. If you're just using it as a blank slate there's usually not much more of an advantage over a whiteboard. However, if you've created your own manipulative with the IWB software, it could mean a lot more to the students and their understanding.
Smart boards are interactive boards that allow the students and the teacher to be able to interact with what the teacher is doing. Everything that is on the teacher’s computer can essentially be broadcast to the room filled with students and shown to them.
With the smart board a student can ask a question and the class can research it in real time. Which makes the classroom a real time learning environment.
Many teachers are using the smart board to make their classrooms interactive. The teacher can project an image onto the board and students can work right at the board or with the computer in real time. the teacher can search almost anything they need with the Smartboard software. You can find anything from animals that make sounds when clicked on to math manipulative. I used the interactive 100s chart on a daily basis with my students. I never had to create anything. Everything i needed could be found in the software program for the Smartboard. These interactive images make the classroom more interactive then previous chalkboards or whiteboards and allow the students to learn better because they are having a more hands on approach to learning.
When used correctly they are a world of welth. I can't imagine anyone purchasing a Smartboard just to use it as a white board.