Technology Gets Students Ready for Kindergarten
The first day of kindergarten is a big moment for young students (not to mention their parents!) as they navigate the transition to elementary school life. That’s why Woodson Kindergarten Center principal Jessica Cabeen has come up with some creative strategies to help her students manage the culture shock. Cabeen is a big fan of technology, not just inside the classroom but beyond it as well. She’s using tech to help make sure her students are ready for kindergarten before they even arrive.
Over the summer, Cabeen, along with her teachers and staffers, post a series of videos to the Woodson school blog. The five-minute movies feature skills like reading and shoe-tying, and they introduce the educators to incoming students. “It’s just our way of blending technology and social media with supporting kindergarten readiness,” says Cabeen, and she can see the results when students arrive. The videos help acquaint students to the places and faces around Woodson, so that when kindergarten begins, kids feel less anxious and more comfortable in their new surroundings.
But that’s not all – using technology for learning doesn’t stop when students arrive on campus. Using video chat programs like Skype, the kindergarten students communicate with fifth graders at the local elementary school, who read to the kindergarteners to demonstrate how much they can learn in just a few years. And Cabeen continues to work on more technology projects, like the new Coding Club that lets students practice simple programming skills. As Cabeen puts it, projects like these help the Woodson community “[shift] the mindset of early learning from being consumers of technology to creators.” For this principal, it’s all about making students feel comfortable and in control, and tech can help her pursue those goals for even the youngest learners.