I am many things in my life (mainly exhausted), but the bit that pays the bills means that I'm a primary school teacher. More than that, I am ICT co-ordinator for a primary school of over 450 children. This means that not only do I have the responsibility of ensuring that Information Communication Technology is taught in accordance with the National Curriculum, it also means that I have to oversee that it is taught with enthusiasm and that the children are instilled with a lifelong interest in, and motivation by, technology.
The world in which our children will continue to grow up in is inconceivable. The technology that they will be using in ten years time, or as an adult, has not been dreamt of yet. This is why it is so important to instill an enthusiasm in learning through technology. Now don't get me wrong, I also trained as nursery nurse studying psychology and I know the stages of a child's development and the different phases of play. Which is why it is important to immerse them in a mix of the traditional physical toys playing with a person, as well as developing their technological awareness.
So when I was approached to review The Land of Me by their chief whip-cracker I was enthusiastic, but wary. The Boy is very competent on the iPod Touch, scarily so, but there is one thing he's not allowed to play on and that's the laptop. Yes partly, it's because it's mine, but also because I just didn't know how much he could do or cope with. I didn't really know where to start to be perfectly honest.
This is where The Land of Me comes in. It is an interactive, digital story book which adults play with young children on a computer. That one word is very important; 'with'. They are too young to be let loose on a computer by themselves nor should they be, but by playing with Eric the raccoon, Buddy Boo the bear and Willow the owl as they explore their home, then you can safely engage with your child in a captivating and enchanting world. The software inspires creativity, conversation, fun and learning. There are six chapters to go adventuring in, covering subjects like Shape, Size and Colour, Rhythm & Dance and Story Time.
The Land of Me is aimed at children from 2-6 years, which is a wide age-range. I've played this with The Boy and I've also used it in the Year Two class (6-7 year olds) that I teach in. What the different aged children get from it is astounding. On the most simple level, The 2 year old Boy watches the story and then points to the screen (a symptom of an iPod Touch child) to tell me his choices. We then discuss the resulting creation and story that unfolds from his choice. However, the Year Twos were able to edit the text, create monsters, build castles, choreograph dance, compose music and tell stories. An aspect of The Land of Me that we haven't explored at home yet is the 100+ activities and resources that can be downloaded or printed off to extend the play away from the computer including masks to make, games to play and puzzles to complete.
I am a convert because of this piece of software, and I look forward to the wealth of toys and physical games that are soon going to be coming our way from The Land of Me, and Ladybird now that they have joined forces. I'm particularly looking forward to an iPod application: knowing how good the Ladybird one is, I can't wait to see what it looks like with The Land of Me as a vehicle.
I am able to offer a copy of The Land of Me DVD-Rom software (worth £29.99) to one lucky reader!
- In order to enter please visit The Land of Me shop and read about the six different chapters in the story. Then come back here to the comments box and tell me which one of the six chapter hosts is your favourite.
- For an extra entry please 'like' The Land of Me on Facebook.
- For a second extra entry please follow The Land of Me on twitter and tweet:
I want to win a @the_landofme DVD on @TheBoyandMe's blog http://www.theboyandme.co.uk/?p=2771
You'll need to leave a separate comment for each entry.
Competition closes on Thursday 30th June 2011 at 8pm. I will e-mail the winner that evening and they need to respond within two days or I will pick another winner. Facebook and twitter have no affiliation or responsibility for this competition. UK entrants only.
THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.
Many thanks to all who entered this fantastic competition. Using Random.org I have a winner:
Congratulations to Danny Powell!
Please continue to enter my competitions over here.