Digital Directions - Summer 2013 - (Page 20)

VIRTUAL LEARNING In the Early Years By_Robin L. Flanigan Photos by_Joshua Lott for Digital Directions G iven that the youngest schoolchildren are part of the touch-screen generation, the question of whether they’re too wet behind the ears for online learning has shifted to a more complex concern: making sure the technology they’re using in school is developmentally appropriate. In the Kyrene school district in Tempe, Ariz., which serves 18,000 students in kindergarten through 8th grade, educators first look at what they want students to learn, then decide which, and whether, technology can best help. “We need to be very clear about how and why we’re using it,” says Lorah Neville, the district’s executive director for curriculum and learning services. “We don’t want to replicate core instruction in a digital format. We want to enhance it.” Being sure to use intelligently designed technology in smart ways takes training and practice, especially as teachers find themselves having to juggle screen time with hands-on activities and pupil-teacher interaction, experts say. For grades K-2, in particular, they say interactive digital games for math and reading must be fun; aesthetically attractive, with lots of animation; and connected to situations children would encounter in everyday life. Even so, those PAGE 22 > Educators are working to make sure the technologies elementary students are using are developmentally appropriate and highly interactive 20 >> www.digitaldirections.org http://www.digitaldirections.org

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Directions - Summer 2013

Digital Directions - Summer 2013
Contents
Editor’s Note
DD Site Visit
Bits & Bytes
Test-Driving the Common Core
Flipped PD: Building Blocks to Success
Virtual Learning in the Early Years
Kindergarten the Virtual Way
7 Steps to Picking Your LMS
Cracking the Code
Powering the Crowd

Digital Directions - Summer 2013

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