I heard somewhere that 50% of pre-school kids in Norway have access to smart phones and tablets like iPads at home, and are proficient in using them. But what about the kids who don’t have access? In theory, preschools in Norway are supposed to be teaching our kids “digital competency”, but in practice, most pre-schools don’t have access to the technology, or if they do, the adults have little training in or time for using technology with the kids. A 2009 report found that while all pre-schools in Norway have computers and digital cameras, the children only rarely have access to them and they’re not really used pedagogically.

Myrertoppen barnehage is an example of a pre-school that really does use technology with the kids, and they blog it all so we can read about it. Their ambition is not simply for kids to use technology; they want to teach kids to create with technology – hooray!

Today they posted a GPS map of the kids’ skiing trip yesterday, created by popping an iPhone running Endomondo in one of the kids’ pocket. Lots of zigzags going up and down the hill by the base where they settled down, and a total of 5.32 km skied on a four hour trip – pretty impressive for four and five year olds. They’ve also written about how they encourage kids to create digital stories.

This makes me wonder how we could introduce electronic literature to very young children. Reading it, sure. But creating it as well. Any ideas?

If you have young kids at home, like me (Jessie and Benji are 3 1/2 and nearly 2 years old), you might also like some of the websites recommended by the Book Chook for encouraging young kids to write (or dictate!) stories.

2 thoughts on “teaching pre-schoolers to create digital media

  1. Thomas Brevik

    I have two kids at home that creates stories all the time. My son creates stories based on computer games he plays. Lego figures and buildings are props that he use to tell the stories. We have tried to animate some of the Lego-stories, but the demand for patience exceeds his abilities at present. He and his friends play games outside based on both roleplaying games (Like Dungeons & Dragons) that I introduced them to, and on computer games, but the stories they make up goes way out of the computer world. I would love to film one of the games as it is made up.

    My daughter tells stories all the time. Mostly verbally, but also by drawing and painting. I think I will try to introduce her to digital storytelling apps on the iPad and see where that brings us.

    Sounds like kids are ready for storytelling in any medium they have access to, so if the tools are available, there will be digital literature created by kids. I would love to see tips and ideas for good tools if you have any.

    1. Jill

      I really wanted to press the like button, Thomas, but I guess blogs still don’t have those?

      I think you’re right that kids like to create stories in any medium, and perhaps usually without much thought for permanence. I’ll look for some story-telling apps and will let you know what I find!

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