As much as I’d like to keep my gadgets away from my son, often times I find him wandering with my phone. It wasn’t untill late last night, that I noticed my toddler’s brilliant mind. Just as I was sitting down and reading my book, he came up to me running to show me something, and my jaw dropped at the sight of it. There he was, standing with my phone in my face with a picture of him sticking his tongue out. He tells me that it’s a Snapchat filter. I carefully took my phone, and I asked him where he learned to do that, and he tells me that he learned it at SCHOOL!
A wave of frenzy engulfed me, I was appalled. What are the teachers thinking, I thought to myself? Why would they introduce Snapchat to a toddler? I was skeptical, and quite understandably too. In my opinion, such apps can’t possibly have any educational value for preschoolers; they are just a means to share selfies with silly filters, aren’t they?
So, as a responsible parent who wants the best for her child, I went straight to his preschool to discuss the matter with his teacher. I asked her, “How does Ryan know how to use Snapchat?”
“We’ve been running a Fun with Snapchat preschool development program for our little preschoolers, the program aims to teach different educational skills using Snapchat,” she replied calmly and assertively.
As curious as I was, I asked her more about this “Fun with Snapchat” preschool development program and how it can help Ryan. I asked her many questions like – “How can a 10-second snap be relevant or engaging in early education?”, “Is it safe to let children use such apps?”, “Are these programs in accord with preschool accreditation standards like that of QualityKG?”, “Which skills are you trying to teach through Snapchat?”
My questions were many and her answers were insightful. At the end of our conversation, I came back satisfied with the program and I just had to pen my experience down so that all the mothers out there can know that using technology for our child’s learning is, in fact, helpful.
Here are some details about the “Fun with Snapchat” preschool development program:
What is Snapchat:
Snapchat is used as a marketing tool by brands to build deeper connections, improve visibility and to reach younger followers through exclusive previews, product demos, behind the scenes, offers and event promotions. With such a powerful tool available, why shouldn’t teachers use it for their student’s learning advantage?
How is Snapchat used for instruction?
As a mother of a playful toddler, I often wish that his teacher could come to my house and sit him down for his homework, with Snapchat that’s actually possible. Teachers can send reminders on Snapchat about upcoming events, homework, activities etc. They can also share lesson summaries through snap stories.
Another way in which teachers are using Snapchat for instruction in the best preschools and play school franchise is by posting snaps of real-life examples of the topics being discussed in class. Like for instance, if the teacher has taught about phonics in the class, she can share a snap story so that the students can remember the discussion even after the class is over also some teachers use this wonderful resource to share clever meme’s on subjects like environmental science and math.
That’s not it, today’s tech-savvy teachers aren’t just about pictures and stories, they’ll even go out and ask questions or spark discussions on Snapchat a day before the class. If the topic of discussion in next class is “Number names” the teacher sends a question related to the topic like “Did you know every number has a name just like you and me?” this gives students time to think about the topic way ahead of time.
Apart from the above Snapchat can also be used to:
- Improve vocabulary – Teaching children new words or difficult words can be tough. So, why not make a little snap story with characters and speech bubbles. Fill it up with those words you want the children to learn, and leave the rest up to the power of snaps!
- Pictorial examples – As Benjamin Franklin said — “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” I’d like to add on to it by saying show me and it’s etched in my memory! Children learn the most through everyday examples. You can help them learn more about different aspects of life by taking pictures and adding some speech bubbles or even a little voice clip in your snap. You can take a picture of a cow and add the sound it makes in the form of a speech bubble.
- Question time – Many teachers tell children stories or make them watch a video and then ask them questions. Teachers ask their students their thoughts or answers to a particular question after the activity. When they use the crazy filters on Snapchat or the drawing feature to do this, not only does it capture their interest but it also helps them to focus on the question.
- Snaps in outdoor activities – Teachers use Snapchat to let children add voice clips or drawings when they go on outdoor activities or field trips. Teachers use apps like this to help their students learn as they interact with sound, touch and visual images on mobile phones, laptops, and tablets.
Technology is used widely in all aspects of our modern lives. From education to marketing, it’s used widely in schools, preschools, and universities by teachers and students not only to incorporate new ways of teaching and learning but also to inculcate a sense of interest towards education. Educating children using different technologies and devices piques their curiosity and helps them to grasp things a lot faster.
Maybe, as parents, we should be open minded towards these new interactive teaching methods and try to involve our children in it so we can all contribute towards their education in this digital era. Maybe, technology isn’t all that bad, what are your thoughts?