Kid-friendly computers helping preschoolers develop
Posted February 13, 2012
Cary, N.C. — Computers and tablets have become standard in many elementary, middle and high school classrooms in recent years, but now they're even being used in preschool classrooms.
Thanks to a an educational grant from IBM, up to 200 children in 10 Wake County schools have been able to use IBM KidSmart computers this school year to work on skills like color recognition, counting, sorting, eye-hand coordination and other fine motor skills.
The computers are also loaded with educational games to reinforce concepts teachers work on every day. So far, the reception has been phenomenal.
"It's definitely stimulating for a lot of kids," Vicki Harvey, a teacher at Briarcliff Elementary said. "It's something they gravitate to. They want to do that. It's almost too much because they just want to focus on the computer."
In Harvey's class, two students at a time sit on a bench to use the computer. It helps promote sharing and makes the kids more social while their using the kid-friendly technology. IBM grant allows preschoolers access to computers
"They're sitting side by side and they're talking to each and other and pointing to what's going on their screens," Harvey said.
Other teachers have used the computers to help promote organization and planning skills.
Each KidSmart computer has a big, wide screen and no sharp edges. It also has a tiny mouse that's easier for small children to use. The computers also have plenty of color, both on the outside and in the color coded keyboard.
Right now, students in Harvey's class spend about 15 minutes a day on the computer.
Thanks to the IBM grant, the KidSmart computers have made their way into classrooms at Pleasant Union, Wakefield, Zebulon, Ballentine, River Bend, Briarcliff, Heritage, West Lake, Jeffreys Grove and Lockhart elementary schools.