Kindergarten Math and Science: Essential, Interactive, Creative.

Camille has been living in the United Arab Emirates for four years.  She is Canadian, with a Bachelors in Social Science, with a Masters in Childhood Education.  She teaches Math, Science, and Reading in Kindergarten.  I thought this would be an interesting change from all the other interviews we have seen in this thread. I also thought that it would be interesting to see what technology use looks like at a younger age level in a country beside Canada. In the UAE students in kindergarten are aged 3 to 5 years old.  This interview was conducted over the phone on January 28, 2017.

How often do you use technology in your class?

I honestly use technology daily.

What ways do you use technology in class?

I use technology for everything from taking attendance, to lesson starters, to interactive games.

Describe to me some ways that you use technology in your class?

We do math interactive games on the smartboard.  I also use the Smartboard to show videos and other forms of media for Science.  We have a computer area with two computers (for 25 students).  Students are also taken to the computer lab once a week for 30 minutes.  During this computer lab time students, can practice their reading, as well as work on Math and Science activities.  We also have 5 iPads in the class that students have time to use once a week for 30 minutes.

Have you seen an improvement in technology use among students over the years you have been teaching in the UAE?

Definitely, there has been a significant increase in the students’ ability to use technology.

Tell me about some of the advantages you have noticed in your students from using technology in the classroom.

Some of the teachers at our school are very comfortable using technology in the classroom, I love technology and I think that it is essential to have in a classroom in this day and age.  Kids as young as 3 can log in on their own, use the mouse, the are comfortable with the touch screens.  Having technology in the class makes it easy to teach things like research skills, which is something that the Abu Dhabi Education Council is pushing hard right now.  They want use to teach critical thinking.  We try to teach students that you cannot just believe whatever someone tells you, you must be able to look it up yourself.  We show them how to do basic searches on Google.

Disadvantages?

Teachers who are not comfortable using technology do not use it in their classrooms and this puts students at a disadvantage.  There are no clear outcomes or outlines from the school or from the Abu Dhabi Education Council as to how we should use technology in class.  Also the upkeep is not there, teachers have to look for useful programs on there own.

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Because I teach older students and many of my students are lacking in their technology skills, I was happy to see that so many young students possessed basic computer skills.

 

 

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