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Topic: Computer Tools at PreK2


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Subject:   RE: Computer Tools at PreK2
Author: Mathman
Date: Sep 26 2004
On Aug 26 2004, Doug wrote:

Hi,

I'm not very good at research and quotation.  I've just been doing and teaching
math most of my now relatively long life.  The thing I see about computer use is
that there can always be "found" a use.  The problem as I see it is that if
there is a use, a need, it would jump out at you.  As it is, there is, after
some decades now, still a search to find the use, and still a search to find
appropriate software.  If someone mentioned "daffodils" instead of "computers",
I'm quite sure a use would be found also for them.

People who mention "manipulatives" are on the right track.  The very young need
hands-on to grasp concepts basically abstract in their nature.  I'm old
school, so I still recall Piaget, and stages of development.  Having taught
math, science [physics] and computer programming and application, I am quite
certain that pre-schoolers are not ready to take time from learning concepts
in mathematics to learn concepts in computer operation, no matter how willing
both teacher and student.

Just as an aside, I have been in internet newsgroups for many years, long before
most hereabouts, and it is most interesting to see terms and methods used long
ago in the US coming into vogue here.  And that has been happening over a long
period of time as well.  It has been educational to watch the changes creeping
in.  The US ed system is still a mess by the way.

Regards,
David.

>I would like to respond to the idea that computer tools are
> not appropriate. I have been doing and reviewing research on this,
> and engaging in projects in real classrooms, and believe that both
> research and the wisdom of expert practice are consistent: Computer
> tools are appropriate if used well, and, moreover, are *superior* to
> paper and even physical manipulatives in many cases.

Bad
> educational practice can be done with any medium. However, good
> practice is often better with (high-quality) computer tools.  Why?
> It depends how much you really want to read!


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