“Thinking Fundamentals” – EDUPlay integrates successfully a computer with an interface especially designed for children 3 to 6 years old. The system design is based on scientific research showing the remarkable advantages of teaching young children by simultaneously using a computer and didactic handling elements.
The combined use of educational software and hardware items especially designed for the age of the users and an activity table for group activities (which preserves the traditional atmosphere of pre-school education) makes “Thinking Fundamentals” – EDUPlay a unique educational system for the development of a variety of basic cognitive skills.
“Thinking Fundamentals”– EDUPlay is composed of a large activity table located in front of the computer screen where the system software is installed. A group of up to six children can sit at the table, which can be covered with different template mats corresponding to the activity, 3D objects (auxiliaries), and an exclusive, easy to use illuminated keyboard with six large keys. They are all part of this innovative didactic approach to cognitive and technological development in children.
Simultaneous use of software and didactic handling elements on the activity table enables the child to integrate abstract concepts (learned by means of the computer) with concrete elements.
Activities take place on two levels. On the first level, the child interacts with the computer via the illuminated keyboard or the regular keyboard. On the second level, the child manipulates didactic elements (either created by the child or included with the system) on the template mats that are placed on top of the activity table. The didactic elements are similar to those displayed by the software.
This methodology ensures a natural transition from the abstract to the concrete and vice versa, and makes it easier to teach concepts that are sometimes difficult to grasp.
The system adapts itself to teaching a wide range of students. The structure of the software that controls system activities is such that it can be used in a modular fashion, as a function of the age, learning level and cognitive development of the children using it.
“Thinking Fundamentals”– EDUPlay presents children with basic knowledge integrated with a wide range of social and cultural experiences. It also stimulates development of their cognitive, psychosocial and motor skills. The “Thinking Fundamentals”– EDUPlay multimedia environment also helps develop creativity, problem solving, visual and aural memory, cause and effect relationships, eye-hand coordination, self esteem and curiosity.
“Thinking Fundamentals” – EDUPlay takes into account a wide range of factors affecting how the child is readied for school life as well as his personal life. One of these factors is good comradeship and mutual cooperation. “Thinking Fundamentals” – EDUPlay stimulates development of these traits (in groups of up to six children) while they learn and work on the tasks posed by the system.
The system helps achieve important goals, including:
- Spatial orientation
- Developing spatial perception
- Going from the three-dimensional to the abstract and vice versa
- Stimulating group work, division of labor and cooperation. Verbal interaction between the children in the group and the ability to give instructions to one another.
- Ability to understand instructions given by other children
- Stimulates self-expression and creative writing
- Fosters planning and building skills, including using the computer
- Learning new concepts related to the subjects studied
- Visualizing the whole as well as its parts; analysis and synthesis
- Mathematical concepts
- Ability to understand graphic symbols
- Memory development; visual and aural perception
- Developing observation and diagnostic skills
- Using the knowledge gained to develop both programmed and free-form activities
- Developing reflective thinking
- Developing eye-hand coordination
- Dealing with problems in judgment and incorrect motor coordination
- Improving self-confidence and security
- Developing logical thought processes
- Acquiring skills in combining texts and graphics
Multimedia Courseware (75 activities)
“Thinking Fundamentals” – EDUPlay interactive software library is divided into ten programs. While exploring and learning each specific subject, children develop important cognitive, psychosocial and motor skills according to his abilities. In the design of the software programs, special emphasis was placed on modular application of the desired level of learning achievement as decided upon by the educational instructor. The integration of a guidance system of vocal and visual feedback gives the user strong support which is an important aid for internalizing the learning material.
Composed only of six keys (on a 30x22x10 cm. panel). “Thinking Fundamentals” – EDUPlay Illuminated Keyboard is easy to operate and limits the number of incorrect responses, due the confusion that standard computer keyboards (more than 100 keys) cause in children. Working with the illuminated keyboard prepares users for possible future use of functional keys on a regular computer.
The objects (blocks) provided with the system let the student perform free-form or system-guided activities. The objects are harmonically integrated with the rest of the system components, and help maintain and enhance the traditional teaching styles.
The mats are washable plastic mats printed in color (100 x 70 cm), used with the 3D objects.
After the child works with the illuminated keyboard, and acquires the ability to work with the regular keyboard, the system provides special rulers to be placed on the regular keyboard above the number keys.
The Task Cards are intended for use in teaching the basics of guided learning and the use of feedback for self-monitoring.
Activity Table and bench
The Activity Table (100 x 70 cm.) is used during the activity with the software and the 3D objects. The Activity Table is the centerpiece of the system and lets each user in the group participate in the activity. This makes for an integrative learning process in which every aspect has a meaning (learning concepts and putting them into practice).
ACTIVITIES AND OBJECTIVES
Introduction to the Illuminated Keyboard
- Vocal instructions
- Learning the directions
- Location of the direction
- Complete an activity using directions
OUR WORLD IN NAMES
- Familiarity with the concepts: large, medium-sized, small
- Distinction between objects presented in different sizes
- Development of visual discrimination
- Development of auditory discrimination
- Development of auditory memory
COLOR – SPATIAL ORIENTATION
- Learning the colors
- Visual memory
- Size and location
- Individual planning
- Orientation in space: Right, Left, Up, Down, Sideways, On Top, etc.
- Using the computer as a planning aid
- Strengthening spatial perception
- Activity with grids
- Moving from the three-dimensional to the abstract and vice-versa
- Spatial orientation
- Use of directional skills
- Development of logical thinking
- Learning the composition of colors
- Studying natural phenomena
- Verbal enrichment
- Word processor use
- Developing free creative expression
- Symmetrical terms
- Using the computer as a planning tool.
- GEOMETRICAL SHAPES
- Learning the different shapes
- Visual memory
- Association of color and shape
WHOLE & PARTS
- Identifying geometric shapes
- Visual memory
- Identifying the whole
- Developing spatial perception
- Inculcating planning and construction skills
- Encouraging creative expression
- Combining graphics with text
- Moving from the three-dimensional to the abstract and back
MATHEMATICAL TERMS 1
- Teaching and practicing basic arithmetic terms in numbers 0-10
- Quantities and numbers
- Division into quantities
- Single-value correspondence
- Parts of the whole
MATHEMATICAL TERMS 2
- Operating with numbers from 0 to 10
- Addition and Subtraction
- Mathematical properties
- Seeing the whole
- Understanding continuity of line
- Enhancing spatial perception
- Orientation in space:
- Right, left, up, down, next to, above, below etc.
GETTING TO KNOW LETTERS
- Getting to know the ABC letters
- Recognition of the ABC letters
- Getting to know the names of the letters
- Audio Recognition
- Recognition of prefix letters
- Getting to know word patterns
- Getting to know letters places in the keyboard