The tablet, the pedagogical side of the medal

The famous tablet! The debate about its use is already well underway and fuelled as much for its advantages as for its dark side! My goal in writing this article is not to take a stand or to raise a debate. I believe that every parent should make a head on the subject and make a decision about whether the tablet will be allowed or not, according to their values and family reality. I just want to present my vision as a teacher in the face of this technological tool.   In my reality, in my household There is my perception of teacher and orthopedic teacher (who never leaves me completely!), but there is also my mother's eye. Yes, yes! We have a tablet at home. Yes, yes! The children have access to it. However, it is when we (my husband and I) decide that they are entitled to it. We have chosen not to leave it within their reach or at their disposal. Tablet time is presented on a Timetimer. Otherwise time management was difficult for my minis and crisis management when it came to tightening the tablet was difficult for us! On a daily basis, the tablet is one of the rewards in our general store. Children can choose this privilege when they have amassed enough cubes. Otherwise, it is allowed at specific times. For example, when we cut children's hair. It allows us to distract them and they think less of the "clipper" that passes in the neck and near the ears! The tablet was also very useful to save a meal at the restaurant whose service was very long. I'm not in the hope of using the tablet as a "guardian", but when all our tricks (playdough, coloring, history books, toys) have been made, it has been allowed until the arrival of the meal. When travelling long by car or plane, we allow children for a reasonable time. My children do puzzles, points to connect, memory games, plots or watch movies (when we're not at home). They also discovered Youtube and humorous videos of baby animals!   What about that dark side? I will be brief on that. No one is fooled. The tablet is attractive and very stimulating (in its own way). However, it also has several negative effects. A very large amount of research has documented the consequences of children's use of it. Its intensive use, like that of television and video games, has been shown to have negative effects on the different spheres of child development.  The effects would be felt in terms of attention, language, motor skills (fine and global) and socialization. It could also play on children's moods and make them more aggressive. Intensive tablet use could also create behaviours in children similar to those of addiction.   What does the teacher think? My teacher's hat forces me to admit that the tablet is a great learning tool. It is attractive because of the immediate feedback it provides; Bright colours Sounds Etc. It is easy to use because it is tactile. It's much easier for kids than using a computer mouse. For children with motor difficulties, it's so much simpler! It drags around and doesn't need to be plugged in to work. This makes the experience much more interesting in class since you can be mobile. In the school context, it is a very interesting tool that is already widely used in schools. It is not surprising that several establishments have swapped their computer premises for laptops and tablets. So the tablet represents a nice alternative to the computer. In addition, there are several applications to work on various concepts.   On the educational side, how do we do it? As mentioned above, there are several games and applications that have great educational potential. I offer you some resources that I use or consult regularly as part of my work.  Don't hesitate to explore for tools that you like and that fit your child's needs.   Abracadabra It is a very complete and well done site. It is designed for kindergarten and primary school students (1Era and 2E year). There are stories, interactive activities in reading and writing. The children's area: https://grover.concordia.ca/abra/fr/ The area for parents: http://grover.concordia.ca/resources/abra/parent/fr/   Taka have fun It is a website offering a beautiful variety of interactive games in French and mathematics. This site is mainly developed for kindergarten and primary school (1Era and 2E years). There are, however, some activities for older people. For the website: https://www.takatamuser.com/   Words without evils And The magic of words These are two very interesting applications for understanding and working on the spelling of words.   Alloprof Alloprof's website now offers two applications: - "Dictated vocabulary words" allows the child to revise his weekly vocabulary words. - "End Rabbit 2" is a fun way to revise the tables in mathematics. On the site, it is also possible to find several educational games. In French, you can work on homophones, past participants, spelling and vocabulary. In mathematics, some games work the different tables, geometry and fractions. You can also find games in geography and English. For applications: http://www.alloprof.qc.ca/appli For games: http://www.alloprof.qc.ca/Pages/jeux.aspx   The Quebec Autism Federation The FQA has done a nice review of applications to work different elements for autistic children. However, while the target audience is of particular need, many applications can be very interesting even if your child is not autistic. For example, there are applications to develop motor skills, visual perceptions or language. For the list of applications: http://www.autisme.qc.ca/la-boite-a-outils/applications-pour-tablettes.html#sug   Mrs. Claire Dumont, erg. Ph.D. This professional has also created a list of applications with educational potential. It shows the price and a brief description to help you find your way around. There is a wide variety on offer. For the list: https://oraprdnt.uqtr.uquebec.ca/pls/public/gscw031?owa_no_site=2039&owa_no_fiche=17&owa_apercu=N&owa_imprimable=N&owa_bottin=   A few tricks... It is important to educate children and make them critical of the large amount of games and applications available. It is wrong to believe that everything online has educational potential! There's also a lot of "anything"! Children should also be accompanied in their use of the tool. We structure time. Some applications are allowed. Up to a certain age, it is even advisable to stay by the child's side while he plays. It is thus possible to create interactions with the child by questioning him about what he is doing and by exchanging with him. As in all things, moderation is the order of the day. The tablet should simply not be the child's primary stimulation tool. Books, board games, role-playing, creative and construction activities can be presented and complemented by the use of an app or educational game on the tablet. Today's children are comfortable with technology and I believe it is possible to create a stimulating and balanced environment by using the tablet in a moderate and responsible way. How do your children use this tool?   Resources:
  • https://www.educatout.com/edu-conseils/strategie-apprentissages/la-tablette-chez-les-jeunes-enfants-educative-ou-nuisible.htm
  • https://naitreetgrandir.com/fr/etape/1_3_ans/jeux/fiche.aspx?doc=ecrans-jeunes-enfants-television-ordinateur-tablette

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