CHICAGO--(early education researchers are debating what is appropriate for the youngest learners. Chicago Public Schools (CPS) was awarded a grant that allows ten of its early childhood classrooms to launch a pilot program of Hatch iStartSmart Mobile devices.)--With mobile technology rapidly becoming as common as pencils and paper in U.S. classrooms,
“We are excited to work with Chicago Public Schools in the pilot and to place authentic child performance data at administrators’ and teachers' fingertips”
“We are excited to participate in the pilot program with Hatch to further ignite a passion for lifelong learning in our students,” said Beth Mascitti-Miller, CPS Chief Officer of Early Childhood Education. “Early childhood is a critical time for academic development and these tablets will serve as helpful tools in engaging our youngest learners.”
CPS was selected through a nationwide application process sponsored by Hatch®. Each classroom in the pilot will be outfitted with three tablets that feature the award-winning Hatch® iStartSmart learning system, providing children with activities that engage them in mastering critical skills for kindergarten readiness and early school success. The Hatch® Report Management system also allows teachers and administrators to monitor device usage and refocus activities for children who need added instruction in particular skill areas.
Hatch® provided onsite professional development in August for teachers involved in the pilot and administrators supporting this project. The training focused on ways to implement mobile technology to an early childhood classroom and how to evaluate its effectiveness.
“We are excited to work with Chicago Public Schools in the pilot and to place authentic child performance data at administrators’ and teachers' fingertips,” said Hatch President Ginny Norton. “The research basis and goals behind the program will provide real impact on school readiness outcomes.”
Three additional early childhood programs across the country will be piloting iStartSmart Mobile tablets in six classrooms: Elizabeth Public Schools, New Jersey; Granite School District Preschool Services, Utah; and Honolulu Community Action Program, Hawaii.
About Hatch®, the Early Learning Experts:
Since 1984, Hatch has been committed to supporting the needs of students and enriching early education. From classroom supplies and education materials, to interactive whiteboard content, to adaptive learning and mobile technology, Hatch® is the innovative solutions leader and most widely used early learning technology provider nationwide. Hatch® technologies combine child-appropriate hardware, research-based content tied to standards, and individualized progress monitoring tools to create complete classroom solutions proven to increase math, literacy, and social/emotional development. For more information, please visit www.hatchearlylearning.com.
About Chicago Public Schools:
The Chicago Public Schools Office of Early Childhood Education (OECE) started its technology program over 10 years ago. As a result of changing reform with the federally funded Head Start program, OECE was mandated to computerize all required children and program information, and to prepare Early Childhood children, teachers, administrators, and parents for the 21st century technology paradigm. Recognizing the need for technical training that goes beyond a one-day workshop, five computer training labs were created along with the current Early Childhood Classroom Technology center, which consisted of one networked teacher computer and two networked children’s computers in each of our classrooms. CPS then began an aggressive technology expansion to other departmental programs and adopted an electronic method of assessment, ensuring alignment to state and learning standards.