If you want to use computers for educational work with children, there are a few basic things to consider. What to look for, what needs to be considered and where sometimes "devil" this article will shed light on the details. A basic requirement, however, is that the computer workstation must not be able to access social data. Administrative PCs, for example, where family data has been stored, are not devices that children should work on.
When purchasing a computer, keep in mind that donated computers are not always a good choice. If so, they must be examined very carefully. Not infrequently use "donor" educational institutions to dispose of their electronic waste.
You cannot use a computer without an operating system. If the computer has a license sticker, the system is, so to speak "there" and can be installed with the respective installation code. If such a license sticker is missing, it must either be included in the operating instructions or other documents, otherwise you have to buy an operating system.
A laptop has the advantage over the classic desktop PC that you can use it anywhere without any complications. This is a great advantage, especially in day-to-day nursery work, because the computer goes where the educators and the children are and not the children have to go to the computer. Under certain circumstances, however, a computer room where you can work in peace is also advantageous.
If possible, all programs used in the facility should be free of charge. In this way you give all parents the opportunity to use the same programs at home, especially when they have no money or do not want to spend it. Illegal copies of expensive programs may of course not be used – even if parents are with them "backups" stand in the facility!
To ensure that the PC remains functional in the long term, there is the option of protecting the computer programs with appropriate software against inadvertent changes to important settings. For this and for protection against computer viruses should be appropriate when installing the computer Help to be entitled to. Do not be afraid to hire external companies if necessary. It is not the job of educational staff to configure and maintain a computer. When buying a printer, it can make sense to choose a device that can be used via WLAN throughout the house without complicated cables. Above all, make sure that the printer cartridges can be bought cheaply. In the end, a cheaper printer is often more expensive due to expensive cartridges.
Practical tip: When saving the data, it should be borne in mind that the computer always sorts data alphabetically. Therefore, save the folders or files using the American date notation. Instead of "15-01-2014" so "2014-01-15". This means that the files are not sorted by day and then by month, but by year, month and day.
Searching and finding: folders and files
No matter what is created, painted or designed on the computer as part of media work, it is important to save the data. Here it is advisable to use a uniform system on every computer. In this way, both the children and the employees can find the data again.
To explain to children how a hard drive works in the computer, use a real-life example: A hard drive basically works like a cupboard: there are different levels in the cupboard, in which different folders with a tab are located. This can also be transferred to the hard disk. Each group of the facility gets a level with orders, in the folders there is a register e.g. for pictures or texts. Alternatively, each child can have their own folder.
Here, too, a uniform sorting and naming of the data and folders makes it easier for children and employees to find their own data again and to continue working on it.
Digital photography in kindergarten
Do you remember how complicated it used to be to reproduce photos of the summer party for parents and grandparents? Fortunately, this is easier today. Photography itself has also become much easier and even the youngest in the group can take great photos with a digital camera – if you let them!
Don’t be afraid to hand the device’s compact camera to children. As a rule, they handle it very carefully. The instruction to put your hand through the loop and handle it carefully has not (in our practical work) only with Children) proven and presented as sufficient.
Of our six cameras, only one has been seriously damaged in the past 5 years – by a teacher student in the fifth semester.
Requirements for a digital camera
If you do not yet have a digital camera or want to expand the inventory, you should consider a few things when buying. In addition to the costs, the possible uses, processing and accessories must also be taken into account. The following considerations can help you choose:
Handling and processing: The camera should be processed in such a way that it can be held well by children’s hands on the one hand and on the other hand does not break with the slightest carelessness.
Special offer or branded goods: A little bit of money can be saved with a special offer from the discounter, but it should still be carefully considered whether a few euros is worth it. Cameras from a brand manufacturer can be bought in two or three years if necessary – perhaps in a slightly different version, but handling and accessories remain the same. This is often not the case with one-time offers.
Memory card: The cards supplied are usually very small. A memory card of 1 – 4 GB should be sufficient at the moment. With the so-called "SD cards" Please note that SD-HC cards cannot be read by older internal card readers. Most of the time, the cameras can be easily connected to the computer via USB cable.
Accumulator or rechargeable battery: Some cameras have their own battery format, which must be charged with a special charger. This has a disadvantage, because the charger always has to "to be there" and the battery can be charged on time. Rechargeable batteries can be charged with a normal charger and, if necessary, as "normal" Batteries can also be bought at the kiosk in the zoo. The battery batteries should have a capacity of at least 2000 mAh.
What is there already: If you have already purchased cameras in the facility, you must carefully weigh whether the same model or brand has proven itself and can be purchased again or whether, based on the considerations above, it might be necessary to switch to a new system.
From the camera to the computer: The photos in a digital camera can be transferred to the computer in various ways. If the PC has a card reader, the card from the camera can be similar to a USB stick "Removable Disk" can be used and the images can then be copied from the card to the target directory.
Alternatively, the camera can usually be connected to the computer with a USB cable. As of Windows XP, an assistant usually starts, which accompanies the transfer of the images very well.
Practical tip: Give it a try: let the children choose a soft toy or something similar and then explore the day care center. We saw beautiful and very interesting photos that children photographed in small groups.
Children’s cinema in the daycare
In order to initiate the first media experiences for the children, it makes sense to organize a children’s cinema. Not so much material is needed for this:
- Amplifier + speaker
- V >A white wall can serve as a projection surface. If necessary, a yellow or other brightly painted wall is also possible. A rather bad variant is a bed sheet, as this almost always creates annoying folds. A screen can often be found in Media Center 1 or similar. be borrowed. However, this requires a large car for transportation. If you use a projector more often, i.e. also for other projects, it may be worth buying your own screen for the daycare.
Projectors for film projection do not need high resolution. However, when buying, you should make sure that the projector can display at least a resolution of 1024 * 768 pixels. Otherwise the device is rather unsuitable for presentations with the computer or other applications. Corresponding projectors are currently available at prices between 400 and 500 €. It is worth comparing the prices of replacement lamps in the device that need to be replaced one day. Choosing brand projectors with cheaper lamps may be the better choice.
Today, quite simple computer speaker systems can meet the requirements for sound for less than € 50. It is not uncommon for portable CD players, which may be present in the facility, to have an audio input to which a DVD player with the appropriate cables can then be connected.
The purchase of these devices is often not possible due to a lack of financial resources – and is not advisable if used rarely. A projector, like a DVD player, video recorder and loudspeaker system, can be easily borrowed from media centers. It is not uncommon to go to the media center anyway – to borrow the corresponding film.
Inspired and digitally accompanied by the little mole in the children’s cinema: the garden project
As an introduction to a garden project, films with the little mole as a gardener or corresponding consequences serve from dandelions.
Children can be involved in the design of a watering table and get to know the helpful functions of the computer. The same applies to labeling the flowers. Here you can use the Internet as a research tool with the children. Again, the computer is experienced as an aid to "offline" Accompanying activities.
For documentation, you can have the children take pictures of the plants and use the word processor to create and print out labels.
There are also various films on the subject of carnival. Here a cinema screening can set the group up for a carnival party. Depending on the age of the group, the Internet can be used as a source for recipes for appropriate drinks. After-school children can create shopping lists on the computer. The party itself can also be ideally documented with the digital camera. A trip to the forest or zoo can also be photographed with a digital camera and documented with Word.
Not without popcorn and admission ticket
The cinema experience does not live solely from the big screen: popcorn and tickets are also part of it. In preparation, the children can design admission tickets themselves – whether actively on the computer or traditionally with foam rubber printing. There may be demonstrators who can operate the technology and help set it up. In order to prepare parents for the project, you can indicate in an information letter that the event should take place on the corresponding day and that the children should bring popcorn or the like, or it will be made together in the group.
Not every DVD can be shown publicly
If you want to show films in public, you need a corresponding license. Depending on the definition, showing films in a daycare center is public or not – if you want to be on the safe side, only show films with a corresponding license. Movies from the video library do NOT have this license. With the "Radio Post" Incidentally, this fact has nothing to do. Such an event does not have to be registered there, nor is a television registered there sufficient for a demonstration. Similar to sound recordings according to GEMA, VIDEMA is responsible for public events.
However, the media center also offers educational institutions a wide range. All films rented here are licensed for a non-commercial public screening.
When choosing the film, the criteria for age and development must be adequately observed. You should watch the film yourself in each BEFORE the screening in order to be able to react to possible questions or uncertainties.
Digital media are ideally suited as a supplement to day-to-day daycare due to their wide range of possible uses. This gives children the chance to use PCs & Getting to know Co as tools that can be of use to you in appropriating your environment as well as in holding special events that adults can also enjoy.
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