The Apple iPad has quickly become a classroom fixture. For Computer Explorers, it’s a stepping stone

The Apple iPad is a powerful way to introduce children to computing. Photo courtesy of RichN, via Wikimedia Commons.

Young children discover the world through touch. Anybody who has young kids, or teaches them, knows how much curious toddlers love to reach out for anything that interests them.

That’s why, when 2- and 3-year-olds play for the first time with a Computer Explorers Apple iPad, the result can be magical.

Since young students can swipe the screen on an iPad, they can start using technology immediately — even before they develop the keyboarding and mouse skills they’ll need to master other computers.

“Young children seem to intuit how to use the iPad, because they explore their world primarily by seeing, reaching and touching ,” says Cyndee Perkins, the director of curriculum and program development for Computer Explorers. “The trick is turning iPads into a learning tool and not just a toy.”

Thousands of educational apps make the iPad a powerful learning tool. But with the right courses and instruction, Computer Explorers students can learn a lot more than how to use an app — they learn how to build one.

Computer Explorers’ youngest students learn computer basics — such as the difference among monitor, keyboard and CPU — in ComputerTots, Computer Explorers’ program for preschoolers. In ComputerTots, classes of three and four students collaborate as they work with computers and iPads.

As students’ skills advance, they can tackle robotics, video game animation and REALbasic computing. Eventually, children learn how to use the Android operating system to create their own apps.

“Technology like the Apple iPad fires children’s imaginations, and we keep that fire burning,” says Computer Explorers president Carol Hadley. “We show children how they can use math and science to turn their ideas into reality.”

Computer Explorers offers a range of courses that teach science, math, engineering and technology concepts to children in preschool through elementary school. To find a location near you, go to www.computerexplorers.com/locations.

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