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During this report I will be giving a general overview of the types of resources used to aid a specific area of 3-5 year old children’s’ learning and development. The area chosen is numeracy. During the report, software, hardware and online resources will be discussed and their importance within the area will be explained. General Many aspects of ICT will be found in many schools across the country; whether it be a PC or Laptop, to Roma’s to electronic cash registers. All items of ICT (Software, hardware and online resources) can be effective when educating children in numeracy.
– Software Software can be an effective way to educate children. Around today are many types of software/programmes that can be used to aid all areas of a child’s development. There are two types of software available; Content Free software and Content Rich software; both of which will be explained below. – Content Free software is software that provides a blank canvas of which can be worked on. This can be used within the curriculum as a teaching tool. It relates to the early learning goals as one of them is:
– “Using own methods to solve a problem” (Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage pg 76) Content free software/programmes such as an art-based programme can be used in several ways. Symbols can be used to signify numbers, counting, matching, measuring, shape and space as well as other areas within numeracy. Illustrations and simple games created using software such as an art based one or a content-free program (such as TextEase), can be used to promote and challenge most areas within numeracy.
– Content Rich software for children is software, which has been designed to provide scaffolding for and educate children on certain areas of the curriculum, for example; numbers or colours (mathematical) or new words, nouns, adjectives etc (English). This software requires little input from the child but enough to enable them to learn effectively and efficiently. An example of this type of software is a program called Tizzy’s First Tools. Within Tizzy’s First Tools there is a Word Processor, Paint and chart Programs. These can be used across the curriculum.
In the paint section of the program, a simple game could be devised in the form of a number line in which a counter could be placed over a number and the children must guess the missing number. This is an effective way to use this tool as it can be adapted and used with all ages and can be adapted to meet individual needs of children and a class of children with diverse abilities. – Hardware Hardware is: “The physical equipment of computing and computer-directed activities” (www. ncsa. uiuc. edu/UserInfo/Resources/Hardware – 23/11/06).
There are many types of hardware that can be used to promote education. Cameras, scanners, tape recorders, telephones, video recorders, Cds and CD-ROMs are just a few examples. “Pupils should be given opportunities to apply and develop their ICT capability through the use of ICT tools to support their learning in all subjects” (www. nc. ac. uk. net/nc_resources) The Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage states practitioners should “Provide a wide range of opportunities to motivate, support and develop children and help them to be involved, concentrate and learn effectively”.
(Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage pg 17) By using many different resources and pieces of hardware, this learning outcome can be achieved. Different pieces of hardware can promote different areas of learning. One useful resource is the following: The “Maths Mat Challenge Game” The Maths Mat Challenge Game “Children listen to the equation, do the maths, and then step on the right answer” (http://www. rm. com/Primary/Products/Product. asp? cref=PD539109 – 22/11/06) There are several games that you can play and use with this mat.
Simple games can achieve simple milestones of the curriculum. For example, the Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage states children of 3-5 years should “Recognise numerals 1-9”, “Count reliably up to 10 everyday objects” and “Select the correct numeral to represent 1-5, then 1-9, objects” (Curriculum Guidance for the Foundation Stage). The children can step on the correct number when the teacher says a particular number, the child can cover up a number and get a classmate to recite to him the numbers he is covering.
This would aid number recognition and number sequencing. Participating in this activity and using this Maths Mat can cover most aspects of mathematics. This mat is also good to support and adapt for the diversity we now see in society. Within classrooms today, each child is individual. Some are more able, some children are of average/able ability and some children are less able than others. Because of the structure of the learning environment, activities now have to be adapted and have to be able to be used in many situations with many diverse abilities.
– Online Resources Online resources are now used widely to educate. They are defined as: “Sources that are available in an electronic medium, most commonly on the Internet. These resources include CD-ROMs, discs, and the Internet. ” (www. somervillepubliclibrary. org) One particular website that is useful when educating mathematics to children in the Foundation Stage is the Birmingham Grid For Learning’s website or www. bgfl. org. On this site there are many different resources that can aid many different branches of mathematical development.