How I Use It
I use this with my Kinders who may not have much literacy yet. They can remember abcya.com. They can find the keys. Remember that at this point some are not really convinced that all the letters really are there in frontof them, so this is quick and easy. They have a reason to learn to correctly install their headsets. Many come with tablet finger control experience but need to practice mouse control. Those with low literacy can use the creation experiences, because they know colors and shapes. They also learn the basics of navigation. Whenever I get lost I can go to the top of the page and find the big K. What is not always apparent is which ones have audio and which do not. I see some folks here mention the ads as not appropriate. Our (required) network filter blocks many of the ads and this gives us the opportunity to discuss why there is a big empty block on the page, how/why websites make money, etc. It is the start of digital literacy for some of us.
There are several items I would like to see expanded. Alpha Match is pretty low level, yet it does work for mouse control. Some of the 'Make A...' could use a revamp. Waiting for the "Make a Pizza" to be eaten drives them mad. Connect the dots is a little odd but it works. It makes them seek the missing number but some do get very frustrated when it is in a distinctly unusual sequence. "Birthday Candle Count" and "Make a Christmas Tree" make them berserk with the precision required to drag and drop, But then, that does teach them a little perseverance, doesn't it?
The Kinders call it, "...our web site..." and have made any number of requests of the classroom teacher to send it home to the parents and when that did not happen, they chanted to memorize the address to tell the parents themselves, and over the very long school break in December, several parents reported their little ones requested access. It has always been listed on our EdTech Resource page, but the fact that they were interested enough to want to do it themselves, I think, speaks volumes.
The First Grade will request abc time, when they are given a time frame and they have a choice of what activity to use to fill the frame. 3,4,5,6 also report that they do sometimes re-visit the page to see what's new or to use a seasonal activity. All in all, I find it a good start to the year and I find it a good resource for a seasonal re-visit.