Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Visual online learning world to prepare young children for school
How I Use It
Curiosityville can be used as a tool for parents to use with their child to discover new concepts and practice basic skills, as well as provide a medium for children to express their creativity. For example, a child could use Pablo’s painting activity to draw a picture, then learn Spanish with Ruby, and then practice sequencing with Joe. The website is not as open-ended as I would like for young children and even the art studio has a limited selection of colors and tools. The website also advances quickly, for example, in the Spanish matching activity in Ruby’s room, a child is asked to first match English to Spanish word cards with pictures but after a few levels the English words are taken away and then the pictures are removed entirely. For a non-literate three or four year old, this progression seems much too fast. The website could improve the developmental appropriateness of some of their activities. It would also be nice if educators could create class accounts instead of individual child accounts made by each parent.
Curiosityville has a lot of potential to be a great online learning tool for young children and a place for parents and children to interact together and explore using technology as a tool for problem-solving, creation, and discovery. There are four different characters or “friends,” each with his or her own personality, profession, and play space (e.g., an art studio, a classroom). The website has great graphics and is very interactive but it is not as user-friendly as I would have hoped for a site that advertises that children as young as age 3 can use it. The navigation buttons are a bit small and not always clearly visible and the instructions for different activities are not always clear. Ideally, they should be visible in print and read aloud at the start of each activity.