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A Letter To Parents Of Digital Age Children by Susan Lucille Davis first appeared on gettingsmart.com

First, let me thank you for entrusting me with teaching your children, honoring the amazing individuals they are, and helping them discover the confident and empowered young people they can be. Providing a rich and engaging environment for your children to learn in is my utmost concern, but Iately I have had to acknowledge that the young people I see every day do much of the learning that is important to them when they leave the parking lot and head home from school. Thus, I am writing to solicit your help.

For a long time, I have bemoaned how as teachers we have allowed a generation of students to explore the Wild West of the Internet largely without our guidance. I am happy to say that as educators, we are starting to catch up and tend to our students’ needs. But the world of learning, especially learning online, is way bigger than we ever imagined, and to do what needs to be done, we ask for your help.

Two Cautionary Tales

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One of the first toys we play with when we are young is a phone. I remember playing with a phone that automatically dialed the numbers to the Sesame Street gang. I loved talking to them and hearing their messages. I remember having pretend conversations with them and these pretend conversations helped me learn to communicate with others. I was mimicking conversations I observed my parents and siblings have or those I saw on the television. Nowadays, children will play with cell phones and I think this is because these devices are one of the most incredible ways to learn about communication. As a language teacher and teacher trainer, I try to find the best tools to help my learners communicate effectively. For this reason, I am a huge supporter of using cell phones and mobile devices for learning. They are powerful learning tools, because:

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by Brad Flickinger…..I get at least one of these excuses when I am working with schools while trying to get more tech projects incorporated into the academic planning…

  1. Young students can’t blog.
  2. Young students can’t podcast.
  3. Young students can’t make movies. etc. etc. etc.

The truth is they can.

But does this mean that we throw the idea of doing age-appropriate lessons out the window? No, of course not. We do not ask a second grader to blog the same way that we would ask a high school senior, but they both can blog.

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Sesame Street Apps – Fun, Educational and on Sale!!! .99 through Sept 26. Are you kids fans of Sesame Street? To celebrate the launch of the new science-filled season of Sesame Street, All Sesame Street Apps on Sale: 0.99$ for the week end! All Sesame Street apps are fun and educational and will help support your kids learning in an fun and interactive way. Check it out there are loads of great titles……, 18 in all.

Search the iTunes store for Sesame Street

 

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The list of sites below, are entertaining and contain educational content. as well as protection from inappropriate content.  These are some of the best online video websites that offer entertaining and educational videos that kids will enjoy. Great for parents looking for alternatives to TV and for teachers looking for content to use in the classroom.

National Geographic Kids Videos

Videos include cartoons, educational nature videos and lots more. You can feel confident with the safety of the website, and let your kids browse all of the videos they want.  Section for games, activities and stories.

Kid Mango Videos

KidMango is a comprehensive kids video site  covering many genres and age ranges. At KidMango, you’ll find videos from BabyTV, Maniacs (8+ years), Kids for 4 to 7 years, Jay Jay the Jet Plane and much more.  The player at KidMango is fun and easy for kids to use, and there are also seasonal updates with new videos all the time, so kids will never run out of fun things to watch.

neoK12

neoK12 is an excellent alternative to YouTube to watch more educational videos. The tagline for neoK12 is “educational videos, lessons and games for K-12 school kids.” To appeal to those age groups, the videos have to be somewhat entertaining as well as educational. The category has a huge variety of content. Learn about space, geography, math or physical science and more.

WB Videos

The video channel on the WB site, is like YouTube for Kids that offers exclusively cartoon programming from the WB. You will find old Looney Tunes clips, Flintstones episodes and even Scooby Doo and the Smurfs.

KidzBop

KidzBop is one of the largest  “YouTube for Kids” sites on the Internet.  The video section  offers select videos that are appropriate for kids, and  children can also create and upload their own content to the site, just like on YouTube! Other features include streaming KidzBop radio, and the ability for kids to create their own webshow.

WatchKnow

WatchKnow offers valuable, informational content that teachers could to use in their classroom.  WatchKnow is a well organized and very large archive of informative content for kids including history, literature, the arts and important life skills.

Nick Jr.

Nick Jr. popular for  creating high quality entertaining and educational content for toddlers in their television shows. The videos on the website offer kids an opportunity to watch the same content as they can find on the television programs.  All of the videos are high quality and cover shows like Dora the Explorer, The Backyardigans, Blue’s Clues and more.

PBS Kids

The video section of PBSKids.org, you’ll find full episodes of the most popular PBS TV shows.  At PBS Kids online,  watch content of kids favorite shows, like Curious George, Between the Lions, Super Why and many others.

Kidzui

Kidzui offers a high quality , safe and secure browser for kids. They offer safe content for kids, and the ZuiTube site is an extension of that effort. It’s one of the largest, well-organized libraries filled with videos. Categories include silly songs, amazing animals, TV & cartoons and more.

Nick

If Nick Jr is for toddlers and Nick is the site that’s tailored directly for the preteen and teen group.  Nick videos features video clips and full-length features of some of the most popular kids shows on television, including SpongeBob SquarePants, The Penguins of Madagascar, iCarly and more.

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KidsMotion is an innovative video software for kids who love to create and share animations. Using photos, music and videos in just a few clicks, they can become video creators.
Birthdays, holidays, school presentations… all major events can be narrated with KidsMotion. Using a wide range of themes, users can transport their presentations into different worlds.

KidsMotion is the latest solution to easily share stories on facebook, Youtube, by email, or converting videos for Quicktime.

Aquafadas offers simple and useful features with KidsMotion:

  • animated presentations using photos, music and videos,
  • choice between the various themes: pulled by flying insects, carried by hot air balloons above Paris and many other topics,
  • sharing creations on facebook, Youtube, by email etc.,
  • intuitive and easy to use interface.

Vist their YouTube channel to see how it works and examples.

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I receive the print version of Wired Magazine each month in my mailbox at home and just discover they have an app for the iPad now.  My first reaction was Yippee, but either I am confused or it cost $5 an issue.  That is pretty pricey considering the print version prices averages out to only about a $1 an issue.  If you have a better understand, let me know.

I do checkout their website most of the time, basically following links in the print version.  Always interesting stuff.

My little grandsons are so excited about Toy Story 3 and I have the Read Along iPad app, which is simply amazing, and I only have the FREE version.  The paid version must be beyond amazing.  I suspect it will be on my iPad before today has ended since I get to see them today!!

Anyway, Wired Magazine has a great article that is available to everyone on the web about How Pixar Built Toy Story. Very interesting.