Kidspiration!

As I searched and searched for a topic that interested me regarding technology in education, I came across certain software that were designed for students in primary schools. Since my current practicum is in high school, I’ve been mostly focusing on tools and how we use them in high school classes. So, while I was on a website listing all sorts of ways technology can be used in classrooms, I came across Kidspiration. Immediately, I clicked on the link given and I was brought to their website.

First, I explored the website trying to figure out exactly what it was. However the first thing that caught my eye was what seemed to be their slogan, “Kidspiration –The Visual Way to Explore and Understand Words, Numbers and Concepts.” Immediately, I knew I’d love it. Why? Because I’m a visual learner, and I personally loved activities that required visual concepts rather than being lectured on the subject. So I dug a little deeper, and I started watching the videos provided on the website and reading how useful it is for children from Grade 1 to 5.

I decided to type Kidspiration in Google, and see what came up. I wanted to know if it was popular and if people actually used and enjoyed the software. The results were encouraging. I came across this website that explained exactly what the purpose of this software. The main idea behind this software is that students develop thinking skills and reading and writing skills. It is centered on visual and auditory communication and sharing and sharing. It is considered to help students write effectively, collaborate and understand concepts better.

Now, here’s how it works. Basically, it has a similar layout to the Smart Board. However, you can do much more with this software. According to this website listing “50 Uses for Kidspiration” you can do mindmaps, graphs, flow charts, maps, diagrams, plot summaries and so much more. By reading this PDF, I also learned that there is all sorts of fun activities already created that can be done. For example, they mentioned practicing word order with students. Basically, on a blank screen, the teacher would jumble around words in the wrong order and ask the students to put them in order to form a sentence. The cool thing about this though, is that the students can listen to the audio version of the sentence and practice their reading to find the right answer. Another example is reading journals. The students are able to record their own voices, which practices oral interaction and they are able to write out their journals and insert images.

All of the learning is visual, auditory and done through communication. I love the idea behind this software. I love that students are engaged in the learning, and that they can learn a second language through interaction with technology. Students end up with a MyWebspiration, where teachers can look at their work and comment on it. They can practice at home, and they can build their own story. Another motto of there is “Learning to think. Learning to learn.” I really enjoyed reading about this software, especially the huge PDF with all sorts of activities. This is definitely something I will use if I have the opportunity to teach this level. Not only because all of the learning is visual, auditory and communicative, but because it seems like a fun interactive tool that young children will be eager to use due to all the endless fun possibilities there are.

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