Developing Young Learners Through Virtual Learning Platforms.

According to the IB, ‘The learner profile supports students in developing international-mindedness and in taking action for positive change. Exercising their agency, students take ownership of their learning, express their ideas and opinions, and reflect on their development of the learner profile attributes.’ ( International Baccalaureate Organization Ltd.)

This blog will look at a few examples of how children have demonstrated international-mindedness, agency and the learner profile attributes, through the use of applications to support learning. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the teaching team has been researching which applications will best support our children’s learning. Some of EY3’s favourite applications are listed below. These applications can be accessed using the children’s log in information.

Epic books-

Our learners can access high quality texts in the form of read-aloud texts, onscreen texts and videos. This application has given our learners access to more than 40,000 books through their Epic School account from 7am – 4pm local time. There are also a range of books in Spanish, Chinese and French. Which support our learners who speak additional languages.

What may shock you is as of April 2021, EY3 have read an amazing 2500 books. This is equivalent to every child in class reading 1 book every day since the beginning of this academic year. They have used this application to build on their research skills, to become more knowledgeable while inquiring into the units of inquiry and have been risk-takers through independently making connections to their learning. This has been done through pre-selected and self-selected books, promoting agency of their learning.

Read with Phonics-  

The EY3 children are at varying stages of their reading development. This application supports the children to revisit and revise sounds that they have learnt, ensuring that there is a balance with what they are learning. It gives independence for the learner to choose sounds that they wish to develop and become more confident with. They can hear the pronunciation of sounds, blend sounds together to read small words, focus on letter to sound correspondences, place sound buttons on words and match pictures to words, all through games. Thus, giving them additional valued practice, if they were in school, they would be revisiting these sounds many times in a day.

Khan Academy Kids –

Most of us are aware of the Khan Academy resources available for children who are aged 7 and above. The Kids version is available for children who are 2-7 years old. The children can listen to stories, play math and language games, as well as develop logical awareness, personal and social awareness and fine motor skills. It follows the characters; Ollo the Elephant, Raja the Red Panda, Peck the Bird, Sandy the Fox, and Kodi the Bear, on a learning journey. This is an engagement that is frequently asked for and when reflecting on learning, it is often selected as one of the children’s favourite learnings of the week. Through visiting the house, the children are invited to play games linking to many core areas of learning at a level which suits them, as well as complete assignments directed by the teacher.

Raz kids

These books provide teachers with a great insight to how your child is reading, with tools to record reading, taking quizzes and completing assignments. This enables us to hear your children read and plan next steps for learning. It also gives children agency by choosing from a wide range of books, which are at a suitable challenge level. This application also allows your child to earn stars, they can buy items for their avatar and space rocket- also assisting with numeracy ties. 

There are a few websites which the children may need adult assistance with. These sites are a great way to share reading:

Unite for Literacy has simple books designed for younger children, with read aloud options.

The International Digital Children’s Library- has an array of books in world languages, which can be sorted by age and languages.

StoryWeaverhas a wide selection of children’s books. Many of the books come in English, Indian local languages and international languages. These books also have a license which allows you to translate their books into your own language, so that other children can make use of them.

We hope this gives you a valued insight into a range of applications that are used in EY3 on a regular basis. The list is not exhaustive of the sites that we use.

On a final note, we have passed the one-year mark of learning virtually, I thought I would sit back and reflect upon the learning in EY3. What a year it has been! I’ve read some articles about how worried society is about children ‘getting behind’ with academics, this has never been further from my mind. What I have witnessed is a community of life-long learners adapting and changing to the circumstances that we have been presented with.  A community that works together to support, change and grow in the light of the pandemic. Thank you for all of your support.

Chantell Nawrocki (EY3 Homeroom Teacher)

Works Cited

International Baccalaureate Organization Ltd. Principles into Practice. Cardiff, 2018 October. PDF.

Epic! Creations, Inc. Epic! school. 2021. Web site. 01 April 2021. <www.getepic.com>.

International Children’s Digital Library. Simple Search. n.d. Web site. 01 April 2021. <www.childrenslibrary.org/icdl/SimpleSearchCategory?ilang=English>.

Khan Academy Kids. Free, Fun Educational App for Young Kids. 2020. Application.

Lazel Inc. Raz Kids. 2021. Web site. 01 April 2021. <www.raz-kids.com>.

Read with Phonics. Where children learn to read. 2012. Web site. 01 April 2021. <www.readwithphonics.com>.

StoryWeaver. Read. 2020. Web site. 01 April 2021. <www.storyweaver.org.in>.

United for Literacy. United for Literacy Library. 2014. Web site. 01 April 2021. <www.uniteforliteracy.com>.

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