Third setting to visit in the EYFS project and yet another range of interesting information about how the iPods, Ipads and DS’s are being used by the children. The teachers did have some concerns (especially in the Nursery end) about leaving the kit out for free choice but we reassured them that setting clear ground rules (device must stay on the table – not be carried away) had worked well elsewhere.
The older end of the setting had placed the devices on a table for free choice by the children. The main observation was that they were used almost exclusively by girls. The make up of the class is that most of the boys in there are quite strong academically but they spend their entire time building stuff with blocks. All children had been shown the devices and one or two apps, but since the choice had been handed over to the children, only the girls have really taken any interest. They like Hairy Letters and the sound board app where an animal makes a noise when you press the picture.
I watched a group of three girls play very co-operatively on this app on an iPad. One girl dominated the actual pressing of the screen but they all laughed together and talked about each animal as it appeared and did its party trick. They also played Hairy Letters in the same way but the teacher remarked that they needed more challenge as most of the children who used the app could easily do cvc words anyway.
There appeared to be little preference across the three devices and they were all used for different purposes. The pad had been sued for shared story apps too.
In the lower end of the setting we sat with a range of children who explored the apps. A small group of boys gathered around the iPad to play with Talking Tom while a girl used the iPod to make jigsaws on an app based around an Arthur story. MrJ intervened with the boys, as it was very repetitive what they were doing, to suggest drawing a picture using Doodle Buddy. She didn’t explicitly show the boy who was in control of the device how to change the pen colour but just did here own picture of a flower employing those skills. She handed the device back to the boy and he immediately used the correct menus o change colour and so on. Adult intervention was also needed to save the image to the camera role, which delighted the children as they could all do a picture in turn and then look back at them.