Monday, October 28, 2013

ECSE and Early Intervention: Welcome To Twitter!

I have been active on Twitter for several years.   It has taken some time, but I have found a network and community of inspiring early childhood educators, special educators and related service providers (Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists and Physical Therapists).  While I have had a difficult time finding Early Childhood Special Educators and Early Intervention teachers or specialists, this seems to be changing.  In the last 2 weeks, I have added more and more people who have a background in Early Childhood Special Education and/or Early Intervention to my “following” list.  When they join, I want to be supportive and personally welcome each of them, but I have so much to say I can’t get it done in 140 characters.  Instead, I thought I would write a welcome letter and invite them to read it. 

Dear Early Childhood Special Education/Early Intervention provider,
     Welcome to Twitter.  I am glad you are here.  I have been anxious to connect with professionals from our profession and it has been difficult to find you!  My PLN has been a great support for me and Twitter is where I connect with them. Twitter is my primary source of professional development.  I hope you find it as useful of a tool as I have.  There are many established communities of professionals in the Twittersphere.  My goal is to build a community of ECSE and Early Intervention professionals on Twitter.  There are a few things we can do to make it easier for us to connect with one another so that we can maximize the Twitter experience. I know many of you are new to Twitter so I am going to offer a few general tips.  
     Let’s start with who to follow.  If you are interested in finding more professionals in our field, “Lists” are helpful.  Many Twitter users create Lists of people who are similar in some manner.  I have a List of ECSE professionals, Related Service professionals (speech, OT, PT), and Assistive Technology tweeters.  You are welcome to access my lists and see if you can find some new people to follow.  You find a person’s lists under their profile.  Another way to find someone to follow, is to look at who other ECSE professionals are following, also found under their profile.  
     The next useful tool is hashtags.  Hashtags make information searchable, allowing users to find information specific to a topic such as Early Childhood Special Education.  Hashtags are the little # symbol, formerly known as the number sign, that you see inserted in tweets.  These hashtags, while sometimes annoying in popular culture today, do serve a purpose.  Give it a try, try searching #earlyedsped.  If you are using Twitter, put the hashtag in the search field and the stream will appear.  Another tip is to consider using an app such as Tweetdeck or Hootsuite.  These programs allow you to organize Twitter feeds by hashtags, lists and users.  
     There are a few other hashtags to consider.  Hashtags tend to evolve, new ones appear based on campaigns and new interests.  Keep your eyes open for hashtags that are commonly used by those who tweet in the early childhood world.  We are an interesting field because we have one foot in the Early Childhood world and one in the Special Education world.  We can learn from and contribute to both fields.  Therefore, I follow many Early Childhood hashtags such as #kinderchat, #ece, #earlyed, #b25, #prek, #preemies, and #ecechat.  On the Sped side, I follow hashtags such as #spedchat, #atchat, #autism, #spedplc, #inclusion and #slpeeps.  Our field is in need of a unique hastag. I originally tried #ecse but it seemed that the #ecse hashtag apparently has some meaning in French and is was being used heavily for that purpose.  At that time, the feed created by #ecse was more French than ECSE related.  That being said, some of us continue to add it to tweets so it worth following that one.  I have found useful information under #earlyintervention, but it is also used by professionals in other fields such as mental health, chemical dependency, and medicine. I am proposing a hashtag more specific to our field (I feel like I am running a campaign!!),  #earlyedsped.  It is still a little long, but I am hoping that it will catch on with birth to 3 early intervention providers and Early Childhood Special Education professionals.  I am also hoping that related service providers who work in early childhood will find and use it.  It can also be a place where early childhood educators, child care providers and other caregivers of young children can look for information related to young children with special needs.  I usually include #earlyedsped in my tweets along with any other tags I think might be relevant.  I am asking you to please consider using #earlyedsped when you are tweeting something that would benefit other ECSE/Early Intervention professionals, or you are asking a question and want feedback from other professionals.  I look forward to learning from you!
      One last suggestion, then I will stop!  Other professionals appreciate it when you share information from conferences or other professional development sessions.  Twitter is a useful platform for this purpose.  Next time you are at a state level DEC conference, an ECSE leadership conference, or any other training related to our field, consider tweeting about it.  Karen Nemeth wrote an article about why and how.  Because our field is just starting to use Twitter, you may need to suggest a hashtag for the conference or session.  Remember to try to keep the hashtag short so it doesn’t eat up your allotted characters.  When you start tweeting about it, make sure to also add #earlyedsped so we know it is related to our field.  
     I hope this information is useful and will help those of us in our field connect.  I look forward to some great conversations.  If you have any questions or suggestions about using Twitter, please email me.  I am compiling a list of ECSE and Early Intervention blogs, so if you blog or have a website, tweet it to me or email.  My email is  

                                                                                    Jodi Altringer

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Why Early Education professionals should use Twitter.

Recently someone asked me why early childhood educators should connect through Twitter. She shared that her preferred social media platform for professional development is Pinterest. 
I use Pinterest and I like Pinterest.  Pinterest is a great tool for finding and sharing teaching materials and strategies.  I think this is important and beneficial, but there is more to the field of early education than instructional materials, art projects, and thematic units.  There are the philosophies, frameworks, and beliefs that lead us to choose the materials we are using.  There is not just the “what”, there is the “why”.  Why are we teaching what we are teaching, why are we teaching the way we are teaching, and why are we using the materials we are using?  I am challenging early educators to move beyond Pinterest, because Pinterest isn't conducive to conversations. I am challenging early educators to take the next step and engage in conversations about early education on Twitter.  The conversations taking place move beyond art projects and themes.  On Twitter, early educators are challenging one another, discussing best practice, asking “why”, discussing research and advocating for developmentally appropriate practices.  They are talking about the importance of early education, policies that shape our profession, and practices that are effective and not so effective in getting the results we hope to achieve.  The conversation is taking place with or without you, I am hoping to convince you that it is worth your time to join the conversation, because our field needs more voices. 

K-12 educators are reaping the numerous benefits of connecting with others through Twitter and blogging. The conversations they are having related to pedagogy, research, and what is working and not working in education, challenge individual educators to continue to improve and advance the education profession. These educators' voices are being heard.  Policy makers are aware of the conversations and taking note. The field of early childhood education can not afford to miss out on the opportunities that Twitter presents to our profession. 

Historically, early childhood has often been overlooked and not given the same respect or attention that is given to the K-12 world. Our field is finally getting some attention. This attention brings with it a great responsibility and sense of urgency. We need to show that as a field, we are also discussing pedagogy, research and “why”. We need to be recognized as a professional group who stays current, integrates research based practice, and knows how to teach.  We need to connect and converse so our voices will be heard. We need to share failures and successes so we move our field forward. Collectively we have a rich experience and background, our conversations can encourage and support one another to be intentional in our teaching, leading to positive outcomes for the children and families we serve. 

Another reason connecting in early education is beneficial is related to the concept of “burn out”.  We have important, rewarding, and often challenging jobs. I have found that connecting with others has lessened my sense of burn out and has sparked a renewed passion in professional development. Knowing that others are facing similar challenges is reassuring. Hearing the strategies they are using to overcome these challenges is inspiring. Reading the latest research, discussing philosophy, beliefs and “why”, strengthens my resolve to integrate research based practices into my teaching and to adapt and improve.  It also inspires me to  advocate to do what we know is best for children even when faced with many barriers.  Connecting with others leads to reflection, reflection moves you forward, moving forward helps you to avoid burn out, stay motivated and stay inspired. 

Being a connected early educator benefits you, your profession and ultimately, your students.  I hope you will consider joining in the conversation.  My Twitter handle is @jodialtringer. To get started, consider searching the following hashtags;  #earlyed, #earlyedsped, #kinderchat, #ecechat, #earlyintervention, #preschool, #childcare, and #preK.  Talk to you on Twitter! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Story retelling with Explain Everything app

Story retelling is a key strategy in promoting early literacy skills in young learners.  Story retelling supports language development, increased comprehension and encourages a deeper understanding of the language structure of books.  It provides opportunities to practice sequencing and use new vocabulary.  Research suggests that story retelling is more effective than teacher questioning in increasing comprehension.  The Minnesota Early Childhood Indicators of Progress include two related indicators, retelling information from a story and representing stories told or read aloud through various media during play.  

There are various strategies for story retelling.  Using props or toys related to the story, using sequencing cards, role playing and acting out stories are some of the strategies that are effective.  This post highlights the use of an app as another strategy for retelling stories.  The app is Explain Everything and it is one of the apps I think every teacher should have on the iPad.  It is versatile, easy to use and affordable.  It is my "go to" whiteboard app because of one particular tool, the free select cropping tool.  This tool essentially allows you to create stickers/props that can be manipulated to retell the story.  Think of it as technology’s version of flannelboard stories or tongue depressor props and the best part is the animated video can be shared with others.    

Here is a quick explanation of the process I used.   I went to the site, Kizclub to get the visuals.  Under "Stories and Props" there are visuals for many of my favorite books.  I saved the PDF’s to Dropbox in a shared file folder so that other teachers can access them.  I reviewed the PDF guide for Explain Everything and went to work.  Here is a link to the PDF guide for your reference. In order to use the free select tool I took screenshots of each page of the PDF so I could edit the photo.   I took a screenshot by pressing the home button and power button at the same time. I opened a new presentation in Explain Everything.  

I selected the insert image icon and chose “Existing Photo/Video”.  I found the screenshot in the camera roll and selected it.  Next, I chose the free select tool and outlined the image I wanted and selected done.  I repeated this process until I had  all of the props on the slide.  In the example, I created a second slide with the images of the characters in “wake up” mode.  

The next step is to record the child retelling the story and manipulating the props.  The finished product can be sent to You Tube for sharing or can be viewed on the iPad.  

Here is the example using the Napping House props.  I read the story with Olivia and then we went through the book again and looked at the pictures more closely.  I had printed out the props and taped them onto blocks.  She stacked the blocks in the order of the story as I retold the story without the book.  I presented the app and told her that it was her turn to tell the story.  She was somewhat shy about being recorded so I provided some support and prompting.   

In this second example, we personalized the experience.  I took a picture of Olivia in a sleeping position and we removed Granny and put Olivia in the story.  She asked me to tell the story, so I did, but she couldn’t resist joining in, it is a great example of how technology can be socially engaging and promote cooperation and interaction.  She liked this version of the story even more! Next time I would have her draw a house and a bed with the drawing tool.  What story are you going to try?  

Monday, July 22, 2013

Time Tracking Tools

Special education teachers and related service providers (SLP, OT, PT) are often required to track and report the time spent on tasks for funding purposes or for time studies.  Related service providers on our team, track indirect and direct service time for 3rd party billing.  As a member of the evaluation team, I track the time I spend on evaluation tasks for each student and report it for funding purposes.  As things got busy, I found I was doing a poor job of tracking my time and ended up estimating.  I turned to technology to help me with this task and I have tried several different tools.  Right now, my “go to” tool is a Chrome app, Task Timer.  I create tasks using the initials of my students.  When I am working on a task related to that student, I start the timer.  The timer runs in the background.  The trick is remembering to stop the timer when you switch tasks!  

I also use a Chrome extension, Simple Time Track.  Your lists of tasks appear when the icon is clicked.  When a task is being timed, “RUN” appears under the icon.  This is a helpful visual reminder to turn off the timer when done working on the task.  I use both tools for different tasks and as a result am doing a much better job of tracking time accurately.  

Friday, June 28, 2013

Create a Peek a Boo Book with Keynote for the iPad

Peek a boo slide with 2 strips removed.
Peek a boo!

Peek a boo is an entertaining, engaging, relationship building game.  Hiding and guessing games are always a hit with children.  Peek a boo books have a cover that is cut into strips and each strip is removed one section at a time to reveal the picture beneath.  I have created many of these books and found the very time consuming to create.  My purpose in using these books was usually related to vocabulary building. This activity infuses some novelty while providing the needed repetition to learn targeted words.  The books are visually engaging and parents always seemed to enjoy using this type of book with their child.  I recently discovered how to create a technology enhanced version of this book using Keynote on the iPad.  Unfortunately, as of when I posted this, Keynote on the iPad does not allow for recording so audio can not be added.  Therefore, this activity is not intended for learning centers or self directed time.  Instead, this is an activity tailored for two or more, an adult and child or children, engaging in this activity together, just like a book.  It could be used as a teacher led group activity.  This type of format lends itself to targeting describing skills and processing skills by giving the child a clue each time a strip is removed.  For example, when using the loon picture in the video, the following clues were given, “it is has feathers and lives in the water”, “it swims fast and eats fish”, “it is Minnesota’s state bird”, “it is a loon”.  A variation of this activity would be to provide a related video on the next slide.  In a home based setting, this activity would work well for labeling family members and household vocabulary. 

To create a slide, choose a blank slide and add your picture.  Add a shape, choosing the square.  Resize the square into a rectangular strip.  Repeat this until the picture is covered.  Choose the first strip and select "animate", then "build out" and select a transition, I chose "dissolve".  Repeat this process for each strip.  Press the play button to preview the slide.  You can change the order the strips are removed.  Continue this process until you have your book created.  

Here is the video describing how to create the slide on the iPad. The video includes a few shortcuts to help speed up the process.  

Note:  Creating the slide/presentation on the desktop version of Keynote is very similar.  On the desktop, you can create a recording for the presentation.  You could give the clues and the name of the object.  This variation would work well for a center.  A laptop could be used at center time and the student could use it as a self directed activity.  I tried to transfer a presentation created with a recording on a Mac to my iPad.  It transferred but without the audio, blah!  If you have Powerpoint and want to create a similar presentation/book, Gayle Lovely provides a revealing powerpoint template on her site.  Happy creating!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Creating Instructional Materials with Tiny Tap

Tiny Tap is an app that can be used by therapists, teachers and parents to create instructional materials for targeted practice of a variety of skills.  Users can create a game based page or book using photos or drawings.  Photos can be taken with the iPad camera or imported from the camera roll.  Also, drawings can be created within the app using drawing tools and stickers.   I created the picture scene below with the app, Felt Board.  I took a picture of the completed scene which was then saved to my camera roll.
The app is very user friendly but I will provide a few tips that might keep you from getting stuck.  Using this picture, I recorded my first question/statement: "Let's play a guessing game, I am thinking of an animal, it has whiskers, pointed ears and says Meow".  After recording the statement or question, you are prompted to trace around the correct answer.  When done tracing, tap on the question you finished and you will see a menu like the one pictured below.  

From this menu you can customize the experience by providing individualized feedback for the student.  You can add a response for the correct answer such as, "yes, you found the cat, it has whiskers, pointy ears and says, meow".  You can also add a response for the incorrect answer such as, "oops, that is not the cat, try again".  If you don't customize these responses, the app inserts various sound effects such as laughing, cheering and a buzzer noise.  Another helpful tip I can provide is related to the background music.  The music made it difficult to hear the prompts and it could be distracting for some students.  You have the option of turning off the music.  When you are on the screen pictured below, tap the cassette tape icon in the upper right hand corner, scroll down and select, "no music".  
Here is an example of a page I created using the app, Strip Designer.  I imported this photo into Tiny Tap and asked questions related to functions of the objects.  

Tiny Tap provides some supports to the learners during game play that can be helpful for learners with special needs.  If the student picks the wrong object several times in a row, the correct object is highlighted and the prompt is repeated.  There is also a replay button that can be selected and the prompt will be repeated.  The drawback of this app is the sharing options.  Games can only be shared through Facebook.  It would be nice to be able to share games with other Tiny Tap users via email.  

Tiny Tap has many possibilities for supporting learners who need targeted practice of skills.  Tha app could be used to target language objectives, ELL related objectives, math concepts, and of course literacy objectives.  Although I have not tried it, the app seems like it would be simple enough for a young learner to use with some support from an adult.  I would like to try having a student take a picture of a scene, create a game by giving clues and have other students play the game he or she created.  Has anyone had young learners create a game or book using this app?  How did it go? 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Beyond You Tube: Other sources for video content appropriate for young children

In the previous two posts, I have discussed how to maximize the educational value of using videos with young children and how to make You Tube more child friendly. This post is dedicated to moving beyond You Tube in search of other video content that might be appropriate for young children.

Other places on the web to find video content for young children: Start bookmarking!!
Kideo:  Videos for kids.  Some of the content on this site comes from You Tube. When you create an account you can check a box that will make sure your child stays within the Kideo site at all times by disabling links to You Tube.  Commonsense media has provided a review of this site.
PBS kids:  There is a video section at PBS kids.  
National Geographic Little Kids Videos:  Science related videos.  Here are some samples,  a wood duck video and a woodpecker video.
Nickjr videos:  Clips from Nickjr. shows.  
Kidyos:  Prescreened videos and games for kids.  Create an account so you can create playlists.  Can also set a time limit.
Kidobi:  Prescreened videos.  Create an account and a profile for up to 3 children.  Commonsense media review.
Mr. Rogers Neighborhood videos:  Clips and full episodes are available.
Sesame Street videos:  You can search by subject and age level.  This site offers tips for parents for viewing and learning together.  
Peep and the Big Wide World:  Collection of science videos. 

Fred Rogers Early Learning Environment:  Videos for kids and parents.  If you create an account, you can create a playlist.  

iTUNES Video Podcasts
iTunes provides another alternative to You Tube.  You can find great educational content on iTunes via video podcasts.  Many video podcasts are free and can be downloaded to a mobile device for offline viewing or can be watched within iTunes.  You can subscribe to your favorites.  Here are a few links to get you started.  

Sesame Street:  Sesame street characters and celebrity guests explain meanings of new words.  A great way to build vocabulary.
NickJr:  Clips from Nickjr shows.
Two Kids Cooking:  Family time in the kitchen.  
Sea World Busch Gardens Animals

Australian Zoo TV:  Animal Diaries
Sky Guy:  Answering kid's questions about space and astronomy

Any other suggestions for finding appropriate video content for young children?  

Sunday, February 10, 2013

You Tube: Increasing safe use with young children

In the previous post I discussed strategies for maximizing the educational benefit of videos with young children. The most important strategy, participating in viewing videos with a child, also is the most effective strategy in making sure a child is safe during online experiences. An adult needs to guide and monitor a child's use of You Tube. If an adult plans to allow the child some independent exploration of videos, I recommend using an alternative site or mobile app that connects to You Tube as discussed in this post, or an alternative site for content which I will discuss in my next post.

You Tube:  You Tube is the number one source of video content on the internet.  You Tube is not an age appropriate site for young children for several reasons.
*  The safety features of You Tube are not foolproof.  
*  Searches can lead to inappropriate content.
*  Even if an appropriate video is found and viewed, the related videos may not be appropriate.
*  The comments underneath a video are often the source of the most inappropriate material.

For these reasons I recommend using other, more child friendly sites, for video content.  But, if you choose to use You Tube, there are some strategies that will increase the safety and appropriateness for young children.  

Create an account, create playlists, teach and monitor.  Creating an account on You Tube allows you to create playlists.  Previewed and approved videos can be organized in playlists.  Once you create playlists you will need to teach your child where to find these approved videos and avoid unapproved videos in the related video section.  Monitor your child closely as she uses You Tube.  Here is a link to a document I have started with some of my favorite videos.

Learn to set the safety features on You Tube such as Safe Search.  Learn more about You Tube on Common Sense Media and in the Parent Resources section of You Tube.

Try web based sites that will enhance safety.  
You Tube for Children  is a site that is in beta (test version) that removes related videos and comments when a child is watching a video.  To locate a video you need to search for it by name.  The down side is that each video has to searched individually.  Using a tab based web browser such as Chrome would allow a parent to search for several videos and open them for a child in separate tabs.  Related videos appear in the viewing window when a video is done.  Children will need to be taught to hit the replay button rather than go to a new, unscreened video.

Safe Share TV:  This site removes related videos and comments.  A user needs to cut and paste the link from You Tube into the search box on the Safe Share TV site.  The site will generate a new link.  Click on “take me to the safe view” and a new window will open.  Using Chrome, several videos could be opened using different tabs.    

Symbaloo:  Symbaloo is a site where you can create custom webmixes consisting of tiles that link to You Tube videos.  Parents can create an account and create a web mix for a child suing videos that are approved.  When creating a tile, choosing “embed” will result in the video opening within the same window, keeping the related videos and comments away.  Related videos appear at the end of the video, if a child clicks on the video it plays within the site.  Another option is to use a combination of the site SafeShare TV and Symbaloo.  SafeShare TV strips all of the comments and related videos and gives you a link to copy and paste when you create the tile in Symbaloo.  You can not embed this type of link, so the video will open in a new window.  

Use a mobile app to enhance safety.  There are some apps for Android and iOS that can increase safety when using You Tube.   There are new apps released on a regular basis so before deciding on an app you may want to do an updated search to see what is available.  If there is a choice of allowing a child to use a computer or a mobile device for viewing You Tube videos, I would choose the mobile device with one of these apps.  

TinyTube:  This app connects to your You Tube account and pulls in the videos from you Favorites list.  You child only has access to videos you previewed and saved to your favorites.  There are no related videos or favorites shown while you child is viewing the video but related videos do appear at the end.  You will need to teach your child to locate the replay button or use the favorites button to leave the finished video page rather than selecting a related video that you have not previewed.

iTube List:  This app connects to your You Tube account and pulls in video from your playlists.  Free version has ads, for .99 you can get rid of the ads.  Related videos that have been screened by the app developer, are shown during viewing of the selected video, but comments do not show.  When the video ends, a play button appears instead of related videos.  

Apps with pre-selected content.  These apps do not connect with your playlists.  Instead the apps curate content deemed appropriate and allow your child to play the videos in a safe, contained environment.  

Weet Woo:  A collection of curated You Tube videos for young children provided in a safe, user friendly environment.  Here is a link to a review on Common Sense Media.  

Gube:  Another collection of curated You Tube videos for young children.  The interface is similar to You Tube.  

Kid Tube:  Android version of this type of app.

In the next post, I will provide some links to other sources for video content.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Getting the most educational benefit out of videos

In two short weeks, I will be part of a great day, filled with sharing of resources and knowledge at a Tech Fair for Young Children.  The event is hosted by a local Early Childhood Family Education program.  The goal of the event is to empower parents, caregivers, and educators of young children to make informed, developmentally appropriate decisions related to the use of technology with young children.  I am providing three different sessions, one of these is on the use of video with young children.  This post summarizes the first part of our discussion on how video can be educational and what adult’s can do to maximize the impact on learning.  

Why use video with young children?
Video is engaging and attractive to young children.  Videos can provide experiences a child might not otherwise have.  If a child is asking what the inside of a bee hive looks like, a hands on experience may not be available but you might be able to find a fascinating video of the inside of a bee hive.  You could explain what you know about bee hives, but with video they can hear it and see it, much more powerful.  Educators can use video to expand content and flatten the classroom walls. Another opportunity videos offer is a novel way to provide needed repetition of some skills that require it.  

Some child development experts worry that when children are watching videos, they are not engaging in activities that we know are good for their development such as playing, engaging in physical activities, or playing outside.  Intention and balance are the key.  Mindful, informed, developmentally appropriate use of video can support and encourage all of these other things we know are good for children.  Watching a video of the bee hive might encourage a child to go outside and count how many bees he can find in the garden or lead to a cooking activity with honey.  Video will be much more educationally rich when combined with "unplugged" developmentally appropriate activities to help the learning stick.  Here are some tips and strategies for getting the most educational bang out of videos.  

1. Follow the child's lead.  Why do pigs like mud?  Do baby kangaroos really live in a pouch?  Children ask so many wonderful questions.  These questions lead to teachable moments and are opportunities for you to spark that sense of wonder and inquiry.  You can answer by saying, "let's find out" and model the research process.  Video can be a great tool to answer some of these questions and provide experiences that will lead to expansion and more inquiry. If you just visited the fire station and your child is buzzing about the experience, finding a video about fire stations encourages further reflection.
2.  Preview the content: Always watch videos all the way through to make sure the content and the way it is delivered is developmentally appropriate.  It is important that an adult is guiding young children through this experience by making responsible choices regarding content.  

3.  Watch the video with the child:  This is the tip that can have the greatest impact on increasing the educational value of the experience.  There have been numerous studies finding that children get greater educational benefit from engaging in the use of digital media with someone else.  Talking about the content with someone else increases recall and understanding, co-viewing encourages narration skills, and acquisition of new vocabulary. The Fred Rogers Early Learning Environment is home to an informative video that demonstrates very specific strategies adults can use while watching videos with young children.  Adults are encouraged to treat videos like they would a book by pausing the video, asking questions, commenting, expanding on the child's comments and helping the child make connections. 

4.  Set Limits:  Children need support in establishing and following limits. If needed, use a support such as a timer.      

5.  Keep the learning going, provide extension activities that will help make the learning stick:
     Connect digital and real life experiences: After viewing the video together, turn to an “unplugged” activity to help make the learning stick.  If your child watched a video of a bulldozer leveling dirt, get a bulldozer, head out to the dirt pile or sandbox and give it a try.  If a child watches a video of Mr. Rogers visiting the stage of STOMP, head to the kitchen to see what you and your child can find to make music.  After a child watches a video about boomerangs, challenge him or her to make one with paper and tape, or other materials, then take it outside and see if it works.
     Model other forms of research and inquiry:  Go to the library and find books about bulldozers. Go to the zoo and watch the kangaroos. Visit a local beekeeper and ask questions about bee hives.  
     Create: Now that you have acquired some new learning, create a product that demonstrates that learning.  Documenting and revisiting experiences in a different way will help the new learning stick.  Draw a picture of a bee hive or make a bee hive out of clay. Create a video of the Stomp production in your kitchen and share it with Grandma.  

The next part of the discussion will be where to find educational videos and how to provide the safest experience possible.  Did I miss any strategies?