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Bloom into EdTech: The Blog: Quick Tip: The Preschool Computer Lab

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Quick Tip: The Preschool Computer Lab

Are you a daycare center, private in-home child care or preschool and are considering setting up a computer lab for children ages 3-4? You may be asking yourself- where do I start? What type of equipment will I need? My students look so little- what is the best computer hardware for their little hands? How long should a preschool computer class be?

Well, I am here to answer a few questions for you! First we will start with some suggested technology hardware for the preschool-aged child:

Suggested Keyboard to use- color coded. Try to find one that has vowels and constants in separate colors (helps with many lessons- of which you will find here) and that all the numbers are another color.





Suggested Mouse: Small and multi-color is key. I personally found it easier to tell the 3-4 year old child to press on the blue-left side of the mouse than to say "left click".

Suggested office furniture: Small- age appropriate desks like the one you see below that is best suited for ages 2-6. This ensures proper posture at the computer.





Some Suggested Educational Software include (but not limited to):


Suggested Classroom Management Tips:
  1. A preschool computer lab time should be kept short and the class size small. From my personal experience a 20-minute session is a suitable amount of time for 4-8 children.
  2. I would suggest sitting two children to one computer. Why? This situation encourages sharing and turn-taking; and allows your students to help one another at the computer. It is from my experience that when a younger child shares a computer with a peer- they are actually more focused in the task at hand. I found that for some who may lack an interest in the computer a 20-minute session may seem like eternity. Setting a timer so that they can "Switch Seats" every two-three minutes keeps the activity fresh and the 3-4 year old child engaged (and moving!). 
  3. Not every lab session has to in front of the computer the entire time. Incorporate games and worksheets to keep the little ones moving.

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1 Comments:

At January 23, 2012 at 12:21 AM , Anonymous bridiget heckman said...

starfall and tvo kids are great starting point for mouse skills.

 

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