Educational Technology

October 18, 2015

Utah tries offering preschool online

Filed under: Educational Technology — admin @ 12:40 am

By Emma Brown, The Washington Post

Can 4-year-olds learn what they need to know for kindergarten by sitting in front of a computer for 15 minutes a day? Utah is betting they can. This year, more than 6,600 children across the state are learning by logging onto laptops at home in a taxpayer-funded online preschool program that’s unlike any other. This is preschool without circle time on the carpet, free play with friends and real, live teachers. In online preschool, children navigate through a series of lessons, games and songs with the help of a computer mouse and two animated raccoons named Rusty and Rosy. The Obama administration last year awarded an $11.5 million grant to expand the online program into rural communities to study how well it prepares children for kindergarten. Schools in South Carolina are testing it out, and Idaho lawmakers are considering a pilot program. It’s a sign of the growing interest among educators in using technology to customize learning, even for the youngest children.

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