iPads in Early Childhood Education

This is Orson:

He’s 3. He has 3 older siblings and he simply refuses to believe that he has any limitations. He is capable of much because he has an awesome sense of self-belief.

He was playing with my sister’s iPad a few months ago when he said, “Aunty: look!” He had removed all the icons from the dock AND all the icons from the home page. You probably won’t know what that means unless you’ve owned an iPad. He’d then sorted the apps into categories and put them on different pages. The page with his favourite apps was “the party” page.

I’m not saying he’s really smart. There are other examples of kids showing how easy the iPad user interface is. Here’s a well-known one:


So, the iPad has a amazing intuitive interface. So what? Well: here’s Orson learning to spell (sorry I couldn’t embed this one).

Ah: so it can also do simple games brilliantly too.

I’m not going to draw this out.

  • I sincerely believe that teachers risk missing an opportunity by discouraging devices like this in ECE (Early Childhood Education)
  • Our whole view of Education may get turned upside down as the definition of knowledge changes.

5 Comments to “iPads in Early Childhood Education”

  1. Catherine Lee 31 December 2011 at 8:49 pm #

    I am puzzled at your assumption that NZ ECE centres are at risk of “discouraging devices like this”. Is this based on the centre Orson attends? Beware of N=1. If that is the case, perhaps you need to find a better centre. The NZ ECE curriculum includes ICT, & some centres are doing really cool stuff. (Admittedly this was compiled before ipads were released):

    • Steve Voisey 31 December 2011 at 8:57 pm #

      Thanks Catherine. I’m aware that there are loads of centres doing great stuff. However, there is no ICT integration at Orson’s centre. And when I tweeted about thus earlier today, this was one of the responses: https://twitter.com/becs/status/152943972174671872 . I’m really keen to hear about what the best centres are doing.

      • Catherine Lee 3 January 2012 at 5:30 pm #

        My sister & also a friend are lecturers in ECE so I’ll ask them to respond once the holidays are over. My sister also manages Student Practicums so visits lots of centres & may be able to comment on some ICT best practice.
        To my knowledge Playcentres are parent-run & don’t have trained staff so they don’t have to follow the curriculum — Te Whairiki (but I may be wrong).

  2. Larraine Barton 2 January 2012 at 8:32 pm #

    Hi, some good thinking about iPad in ECE on my friend’s blog here: http://bit.ly/sAmxi3

    • Steve Voisey 2 January 2012 at 10:54 pm #

      Thanks, Larraine.
      This was a great find for me.

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