Teaching With Preschool Software

By: Jennifer Houck

Computers and their Benefits

Computers are becoming increasingly popular in homes, day care centers, preschools, and schools. In fact, current statistics show that more than 50% of all children have used a computer by the time they are four years old. That number jumps to over 80% when discussing children who have used the computer by the time they have entered Kindergarten. Using computer programs for educational purposes offers a host of benefits. Preschool software can be a great way to help children develop and reinforce many educational skills from literacy to science. Many parents may mistakenly believe that their preschooler is to young to benefit from computer software but this is a gross misconception. Preschoolers need to develop literary awareness and preschool software is a great way to expose children to concepts that will help them make the connection between words and their meanings. When it comes to learning, preschoolers need to learn in an atmosphere that is relaxed and fun. Many preschool software games incorporate graphics, audio files, and interesting voice patterns. This helps engage the child’s senses and stimulates learning. It is also important to ensure that the preschool software will help increase their logic, reasoning, and problem solving abilities. Since exploration, imaginative learning, and play are also critical to early childhood development, using preschool software can be an effective means for developing these areas as well.

One word of caution that is important to mention, is that preschoolers have a strong need for interaction with adults and other children. Therefore, the computer should never be used as a substitute for one-on- one or group learning. Consider the use of a preschool software program as an additional learning tool to enhance your curriculum- not to replace it. Some areas where you can find preschool software beneficial include:

•Oral Language Development- choose software that allows children to record and playback their voice. Also, look for software that has a narrator who children will interact and respond to.

•Increase Awareness in the Areas of Phonetics and Print- Preschool software can help children make the connection between print words and their meanings. It is also a valuable way to teach letter recognition, stories, rhymes, and letter sounds.

Using computers and preschool software can be advantageous for all children. It is important to ensure that each activity is connected to the other areas of learning currently being taught.

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