I get the same question now as I did when I was teaching and when I was consulting. “Jo, what educational apps should I use?”or others would engage in a totally different dialogue, “how can they learn with technology at all?”
When I was teaching, I wanted to change this dialogue as I do now as a parent, as an educator and as an entrepreneur.
Children’s brains are wired differently compared to their grandparents and even their parent’s generation. There have been multiple research studies conducted on this. Why? Because they are exposed to technology from a very early age. Most 2 or 3 year olds will know how to tap on an iPhone or turn on an iPad. Their world is different and education needs to reflect this. Our children will be doing occupations that haven’t even been created yet (who even knew what a social media influencer was 10 years ago?). But the technology they will be using hasn’t even been invented yet. Technology is imperative in education for engagement, problem solving, creating and relating to the real world. Our children are digital natives so we need to provide opportunities for them to explore, develop and create with technology. The other part of the discussion is what type of technology. Using technology as a babysitter just isn’t going to cut it. Purposeful and meaningful activities need to be linked to the use of technology (this can be easily done) but using technology to ASSIST learning is important. Joining technology with tactile, hands-on learning activities allows children to develop their gross motor skills as well as their creativity and imagination.
So let me introduce you to OSMO. A new educational, interactive, augmented, hands-on learning system that is easily used on an iPad. There are a variety of games available from maths, arts, business, and coding – there is so much variety. The best part, it brings their learning to life.
Why I love it?
Develops Strengths and Work on Weaknesses:
I am all for children having an arena where they can nurture and further develop their strengths but also a safe environment to work on their weaknesses. What I love about OSMO is it allows for this. The variety of different games allows children to develop certain skills like problem solving, follow instructions
Explore their passions
Anyone who knows me, knows I am all about finding your ‘why’, your purpose. Not only is this wonderful to develop emotional intelligence, and inner peace but it reminds everyone that we all have our own gifts to share with the world, we are all extraordinary when we tap into our passions. Children are no different. Whilst a child may not know what their why is (I bet you would see signs of yours if you look back at your childhood memories), but OSMO gives children an opportunity to play, experiment and discover what their passions are. Hunter already gravitates towards the emotive and creative activities like squiggle magic and Osmo Pizza Co.
It is important when learning that creative flow isn’t interrupted. OSMO makes it so easy by simply capturing your child’s work and transferring it to the screen with one click. The interface is very easy to use and can be managed by your child.
STEM learning is so important for the digital native. STEM is an approach to learning and development that integrates the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Through STEM, students develop key skills including: problem solving and creativity.
Abstract thinking and open ended:
These are such important skills. Open ended means there isn’t just one answer, which doesn’t restrict learning and allows children to break the ceiling and create. Osmo’s games are geared toward embodied learning, meaning their games teach abstract concepts by connecting them to objects and actions in the physical world. Osmo games promote embodied learning through physical-digital interactions.
Why would a game like this link with self esteem? In a classroom (usually 30) or at home with your own children (even with their friends and their cousins), you will have a variety of different abilities. 30 in the classroom, 30 different ability levels. Often children are compared, some taken out of class for special reading programs, some for more challenging work. A quick way to lower a child’s self confidence. What I love about OSMO is all children of differing abilities can play and learn without anyone else knowing. Children can be extended or their learning can be modified, as it uses their individual strengths depending on which activity they use.
It is very easy to set up and the Osmo Little Genius Starter Kit is a great way for children to get started. I used with my son Hunter who is 3 years old and even my 2 year old son Archie had a go too. I personally have all the games and allow the children to choose which they want to play with even if the recommended age is older than them. You will be amazed what your child knows when you expose them to a variety of different activities and OSMO allows for this in a fun and engaging way.
Here is a list of games and the key learning areas:
- Coding (Coding Awbie, Coding Jam, Coding Duo)
- Math (Numbers, Pizza Co.)
- Drawing (Monster, Super Studio, Masterpiece)
- Spelling (Words)
- Fundamentals of Physics (Newton)
- Spatial relational skills (Tangram)
- World geography (Detective Agency)
OSMO can be used on a compatible device and does not require WIFI. Osmo works with most iPads and Amazon Fire tablets.
Enter my special promo code STORYANDCO at checkout on playosmo.com for an EXTRA 20% off until 2/12. Happy shopping!
To find out more about OSMO check out their website.
Leave a comment below and tell me if you have used it and what your child’s favourite game is.
If you would like to read more about our top picks check out our feature here OSMO website.