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Opinons On Using The Internet In The Early Years


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Hi, :o

I am a 4 th year B.Ed with advanced study of early years student from liverpool hope university college. I am currently researching for my dissertation on using the internet safely and appropriatley with early years (infant) children. If you have any strategies on how to use the internet safely or opinons on early years children using the internet they would be much appriciated.

thank you

Andrea :D

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Hi Andrea -

Welcome to the forum and thanks for your first post! :D

 

I'm certainly no expert in the field, but if I kick off with a few fairly obvious observations, perhaps others can correct or expand them?

 

First, there are the obvious safeguards to internet access with children. Number one of course is to ensure they have supervision. This shouldn't necessarily mean watching over everything they do, but it would mean being aware of what they are trying to do and the tools they have to do it. Your personal supervision can of course be supplemented by the standard software which acts as a gatekeeper, forbidding access to unsuitable sites (eg NetNanny) - these can be overly restrictive, or not reliable enough, depending on how they have been set up.

 

Secondly, when we talk about early years access, we are for the most part talking about very young children, of course, who do not read or write well or at all. In this event, it is highly unlikely that they will be seeking out new sites or resources for themselves anyway. It is far more likely that they will be making use of a site that will have been accessed for them by a supervisor. There are many sites set up for young children on the internet, some more suitable than others - a couple of examples of subscription based access sites are the mouseclub site, and the Big Bus site.

 

And lastly, if the setting has easy and regular access to the internet there are a couple of other ways it might be possible to use the technology other than surfing. Setting up a 'penpal' link with another class or pre-school, where emails can be swapped back and forth (with help obviously from the supervisors), photo's exchanged and so on? We have long had the ambition to do this in our setting, but have yet to put it into practice.

 

Hope this helps as the basis of further discussion, if in no other way! :)

 

Welcome again.

Steve.

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  • 6 months later...

We use the internet in two ways.

 

Firstly we introduce it during supervised group time alongside information books. We talk about how we can find out more about a topic and ask the children for their ideas of what words we can put in. We have a filter so no inappropriate sites can come through. By doing this we have listened to polar bears, penguins, looked at old and new cars and trains, a dragon and lion dance for Chinese New Year amongst many other things. These all have to be researched first to find the most child friendly sites but it provides a great visual and audible resource. This quite often leads to questions such as 'can we look on the internet to find out what dinosaur this is?'

 

Secondly we use the cbeebies and other childrens sites during free activity time with an adult close by.

Sue

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Sorry forgot the others. We get/send e-mails from/to Santa, visitors, Easter Bunny etc. And we are in the process of setting up webcam links with our local infant school.

 

I'll probably think of other things after I've posted this Ha Ha!

 

Sue

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  • 3 weeks later...

Not really into using computers with young children, although they have enjoyed some stuff from the BBC site. Have noticed over the past few years that the children who enjoy the computer most seem to be those who usually have difficulty 'filtering' out external influences in general classroom situations (e,g, ADHD or ASD). I'm not sure if it's really all that good, therefore - just something that acts a bit like ritalin & stimulates you into some kind of trance state? (Sorry, that's a bit over the top - but I hope you get the gist of what I'm trying to get at). I also wander if it;s not a bit conceptual for the children, not concrete enough.

 

Also, I was looking round a new school last week & the head went on about the ICT suite, laptops, being networked etc ad nauseum, but I couldn't see any bikes or large construction materials!!! What kind of priorities are those?

 

Feel free to shoot everything I say down in flames, I'm just tired & rambling tonight!!!

 

Dianne xxx

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Dianne I agree with you. I have come across children who cannot count colour or hold a writing tool. When I mention it to the parent. They can do these things on the computer!!!!!!!. I have come across children that are convinced they are figures like dragons and can go round behaving like them. I feel that computers, televisions and videos are O.K. in small doses for a young child as they are very solitary experiencies. As long as children do not miss out on the hands on sociable experiences instead.

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Totally agree with Dianne and Bubblejack on this one! We have a laptop for the children's use (?!?!?!?). We tend to use it in the 2nd half of the summer term only as an extra activity because (a) I think there are far more important things for 2/3/4 year olds to be experiencing and (:( it is an activity which requires 1:1 or at least 1:2 - one doing and one watching.

 

:(:oxD

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Me Too!!

 

We do have a computer but it is not turned on that often! :o

 

I think it defintiely requires 1:1 and I am concerned about very young children trying to use skills, as yet not fully developed, required for mouse control.

 

The concept that they are controlling events on screen by using the mouse is a difficult one to grasp.

 

Far more exciting and beneficial things to do in pre-school.

 

Might just be me but I have a "thing" about techy things! Right down to equipment, I would far rather hear a child making car/train/plane noises than have them push a button and the vehicle be all singing and dancing.

 

We have two trains sets - one good old brio and one new fandangled, all singing all dancing. The difference in the childrens play is interesting to watch. With the new set they simply watch it! There is far more language/interaction with peers etc with a good old basic train set that gives plenty of room for their imagination to be used.

 

Ooops rant over! :D

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I feel that good quality software does encourage lots of skills - co-operation, language, numeracy etc. as well as fine motor skills and learning about technology.

A group of 5 chn. were around 1 computer today - 'Tweenies' - chn. were choosing songs, joining in, clapping to rhythm and dancing along with Fizz on the mat provided and taking turns.

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Not in a ranting mood today, & that sounds great Magenta - thought about getting a Tweenies CD a while ago - maybe I'll give it a chance now!

 

Dianne xxx

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I copy words off Tweenies website and sing them with the children. My singing makes them appreciate how wonderful the Tweenies really are!!!!

 

:oxD:(:(:D:( :wacko:

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I found a couple of nice sites that we used this half term to support our theme. An e book of the three little pigs which we pulled up onto a large screen and used for shared reading. The other was an American site to support phonics. It has some fun interactive stories and activities for children to do. www.starfall.com The downside on that one for some may be the American accent. That said my children were interested in it and commented on differences in the way we pronounce words.

 

Angela

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