In the Children's Library at Darien Library, we've been successfully running a collaborative computer class for preschool age kids and their parent or caregiver. This site is intended to share the lessons and structure of the program with other libraries so that you might begin programs like this of your own.
The program is conducted as a registered, 6-session series for children ages 3-5 and we do require that an adult attend the program with their child. Each class was a 30 minute session, the families were welcome to stay longer is they chose to. Parents were given a handout for each class that included links to the websites used, a written description of the skill we focused on and additional reading. Periodically, I handed out articles of interest that suited the topic we discussed in class. The whole class structure is designed to provide a model for parents on how to interact with technology and media in a healthy way.
For each session, the computer lab was set up the same. We disabled the print management software, placed red and green stickers on the computer mouse, set up the computers with the activity for the class, turned off the monitors and started the class in a sharing circle, like a storytime.
At the beginning of each session, I showed a video while we waited for all the kids to arrive This was a way to share video sites other than youtube with the adults. Examples are Kideos, KidVideos, KidsTube and then later KidZui & iChat for the final class on Communication.
"I do iPads as the last class of the session. I don't really have a set lesson plan. I usually just talk about how an iPad is a computer that's smaller, how it has a hard drive too, just like the computer's we've been using, and then we play with an educational app, followed by a fun app to end the class. I usually give out our recommended app lists that the Children's Library has already created, and I talk to parents very briefly about interacting with touch technology the way we interact with books."
-Elisabeth Gatullo, Children's Librarian at Darien Library
Here are the lesson plans and handouts that we created to use:
*Disclaimer: I do not have a formal teaching background so my idea of a "lesson plan" is more like an identified goal and the steps I took to get there.
Little Clickers Collaborative Preschool Computer Class by Gretchen Caserotti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. The name, Little Clickers (TM) is used with permission.
The program was created by Gretchen Caserotti at Darien Library (CT). For more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org