Dozens of preschool and kindergarten teachers are adding iPads to their classroom stocks of pencils and paints in an effort to hook young learners with the newest technology craze at the same time—or even before—their parents adopt it.
Primary students in several Chicago-area schools geared up this year with the touch-screen tablets, an expense school officials defend in an era of tight budgets by citing how intuitive they are for 3-, 4- and 5-year-olds raised in a world of ubiquitous technology and constant connectivity.
Seriously? Kindergarteners eat things like iPads.
And lest you think this was a well-thought out plan with serious, mapped-out goals:
“At first, we thought this is a nice little toy. No one had any idea what this could do educationally,” said Principal Barbara Kent of Chicago’s Burley Elementary School, which debuted iPads this year in preschool, first and second grades.
Second grade? Sure. Second graders can talk in complete sentences and so forth.
But kindergarten? Seriously?
(Caveat: I’m relying on my experience as an elementary school librarian/computer instructor for my generalizations about the grade levels. It’s entirely possible that today’s kindergarteners are brilliant sophisticates who can mix a perfect martini instead of the keyboard chewing, monitor-drawing, mouse-throwing lovables that I remember. )