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How teachers can use edtech to boost engagement

The kids showing up to Kindergarten classes are much more tech-savvy than their predecessors five years ago. These digital natives are only a little older than the iPhone and they are used to a world where they are surrounded by technology, and where technology has evolved as they’ve grown.

Northwestern University reports that among children 8 years of age and younger, 21 percent use smartphones regularly for activities that range from texting to using educational apps. Common Sense Media found that 72 percent of children age 8 and younger have used a media device for watching a show, playing a game or engaging with educational apps, and that 38 percent of children under 2 have used a mobile device for media.

Children are no longer satisfied with seeing their favorite characters on a TV screen; they want to interact through mobile applications, YouTube videos and more. It presents new challenges for the early teachers these kids encounter who must find ways to keep students’ attention while focusing on the important early lessons of their academic careers.

It seems that technology companies caught on early that there was a demand from parents for high-quality educational apps and other tech offerings that targeted young children, but the road to creating that content for classroom settings has been slower. That’s starting to change though, much to the benefit of teachers.

In fact, some big names in education technology are seeing the value in sharing their platforms with teachers, in addition to parents. StoryBots, originally envisioned as an early childhood education resource for parents, has just launched its Classroom platform. It takes the best of what StoryBots has always offered — learning videos, interactive reading, activity sheets, and more — and ramps it up to work for classroom settings.

This article of Matthew Lynch originally appeared on The Advocate on 18th February, 2016

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