BABIES USING IPAD APPS IN A FOREIGN LANGUAGE- LEARNING ENVIRONMENT
University of Colima (MEXICO)
About this paper:
Appears in: EDULEARN12 Proceedings
Publication year: 2012
Conference name: 4th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 2-4 July, 2012
Location: Barcelona, Spain
Abstract:The term App is a short way to name the “application” in singular and plural. The following paper based upon a teachers log, summarizes some of the most important experiences a group of teachers faced previous, during and while using iPad applications to stimulate kids, from 45 days to 4 years old. Based on a timeline we introduce both the enthusiastic experience and the scientific perspective, only with the objectivity and the theoretical frame to support the paper, but in a storytelling way, to take the readers with us in a journey that helps them visualize the experience, closer to the feelings but not so far from the objectivity of the science. From Apps designed to provide infants with essential stimulation during early stages of development to Apps that help teachers to facilitate the reading and writing process at the time they enjoy and explore the technology in a friendly and natural way. As a result of our research project, we found that some apps are based on decades of research and beautifully designed, they were planned to provide as much stimulation as possible, some of them use bold, high-contrast symbols, shapes, patterns, and captivating sounds, proven to be preferred by infants. We decided to use apps as teaching aids and we chose those with a higher level of stimulation in the areas of cognitive and motor development, but with impressive potential to provide with significant visual tracking, scanning, and object permanence, the aim was considered in two main ways, using English as a communication channel and technology that speeds myelination of brain cells. On the other hand, the term 'early intervention' designates educational and neuro-protection strategies aimed at enhancing brain development. Using technology as one of these strategies increases both the teaching experience for the teachers in charge of the early stimulation, as well as the learning experience for babies. Early educational strategies seek to take advantage of cerebral plasticity, according to the experts, from the born day to the age of seven, represent the most adequate and important period to generate as much neuro-connections as possible. In our experience we have observed that kids respond naturally and friendly to the chosen apps as teaching aids to present vocabulary, to practice hand writing, to read stories and to have fun at the time they practice math, sciences and other skills. Early stimulation programs were first devised in the United States for vulnerable children in low-income families; positive effects were recorded regarding school failure rates and social problems. In the language learning area, we decided to put in practice a stimulation program in the University of Colima’s Baby Day Care Department BDCD (Estancias Infantiles in Spanish). The institution attends the kids of every women that works for the University. It is organized in rooms that keep the kids in periods of 6 months, the first three years and twelve months for the last year they spend at the BDCD. The class took place two days a week for each room in sessions of 30 minutes a day. The results so far shows positive results, from the day we began to now we had a great amount of significant experiences we would like to share in a full paper, as well as in the presentation.
Keywords: Early stimulation, foreign languages, iPad applications.