By Pete Thomas, December 2012
Children and parents are in for a treat on their next visit to the NOPL libraries of Brewerton, Cicero and North Syracuse – six brand new computers, filled with over sixty fun and educational games, are now available in the children’s room at each library. Sesame Street’s Big Bird and Nick Jr.’s Dora the Explorer are a just a few of the familiar characters children will find on these new computers. Parents can join the fun and play alongside their children, guiding them through educational games that cover math, reading, writing and geography lessons.
The computers are programmed by AWE Digital Learning Solutions and feature Early Learning Station (ELS) software. According to their website (www.awelearning.com), “AWE boasts an expansive library of educational applications available on every ELS. From Reader Rabbit to JumpStart and Dora the Explorer, there is something special available for every child’s learning preference. AWE uses a comprehensive process to evaluate and select the content titles to ensure the ELS features a wide range of educational programs that touch on all curriculum subjects.” NOPL’s IT Specialist Carol Westcott added that the computers are a great addition to the library, stating, “We’ve been trying for many years to have great learning software, and these computers provide a safe digital learning experience.”
The software’s approach is learning through engagement, creativity, and problem solving, allowing kids to learn independently and have fun. Children and their parents can play together on these computers using the touch screen feature or the colorful mouse and keyboard combination that highlight consonants, vowels, numbers, and system keys. These fun and colorful tools are teaching children digital literacy skills as they play. Another great feature parents will be excited about is the ability to save your child’s work and sign back in when you return, tracking the progress of your child’s learning.
These popular new computers have already received praise from parents and children who have been the first to explore and play on them. Dylan, 3, really liked the games featuring Diego. Another child, Jack, had fun playing with a draw program and was shown how to write his name.
On your next visit to NOPL make sure to try out the new children’s computers and tell us what you think.