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Education Students Help Young Children View the World through iPad Devices

For Kathleen Harris, Ph.D., Dean of the School of Education and Applied Sciences, the iPad is an important tool that allows future early childhood educators to interact in complex ways with their students.

“It’s an excellent tool for collaboration, an excellent tool for problem solving and for different types of executive functioning,” Kathy said. “The key is there should be a balance, and the future educator needs to understand that. They have to have objectives.” 

Kathy’s students often use the iPad with preschoolers at the Seton Hill Childhood Development Center (CDC). In one exercise, Seton Hill education students take CDC students around campus. The young children are asked to take photos of what they see, using an iPad. The exercise allows the future teachers to see what their young students are wondering about – and to observe how each child sees the world in different ways.

Kathy’s students also use the iPad to explore STEM activities with the children at the CDC. One teaching strategy she encourages is combining dramatic play with the use of interactive apps. In practice, it can work like this: Seton Hill education students introduce the children to apps that focus on interesting activities - from pet grooming to making virtual gingerbread cookies to operating an ice cream shop - and engage them in play that also allows them to learn.