Cherry.bytes is fun, innovative and engaging; a world of new experiences where your child will be encouraged to ‘learn to love to learn’ and become ‘passionately curious’!
Technology is an integral part of our children’s lives, with many children already using digital devices. Used wisely and innovatively in education, technology has the potential to open up a whole new world of learning opportunities that were previously inconceivable, when incorporated into our curriculum.
It’s not used to replace other learning; it simply provides us with another tool to be used responsibly to support children’s early education in a fun, exciting way – and without the damaging impact of misuse and/or overuse.
Cherry.bytes is unique to Kindercare, focussing on actively involving your child in the use of technology to create and explore, rather than just being a passive user who ‘consumes’ technology.
What Happens at Cherry.bytes?
Each week, preschoolers between 3½ and 5 years old, participate in a supervised and carefully planned 45 minute session.
Cherry.bytes is introduced to children at around 3 years and 6 months because it's at this stage of development that they are becoming less egocentric and beginning to understand the concepts of sharing and taking turns. Learning social skills is an important part of the Cherry.bytes program, as children work and make discoveries alongside a partner.
Working primarily on iPads, as well as opportunities to use other technology, these sessions incorporate interactive and creative activities to extend Kindercare’s early childhood curriculum and support the development of your child’s full potential.
The exciting potential of Cherry.bytes is how it is able to extend the classroom focuses. Your child will use technology as a learning tool to process his/her learning of new concepts or express their understanding of new discoveries.
Cherry.bytes gives children the opportunity and confidence to recognise and build on their interests, knowledge, abilities and experiences. It’s inspiring to see how it encourages the use of language, hand-eye co-ordination, builds personal confidence, develops social and cognitive skills and allows creativity to flourish.
Links to the Curriculum Program
A wide range of features in our education program are incorporated, including music and movement, Foundation Skills, and the ‘You Can Do It’ programme to nurture the development of your child’s social and emotional competencies.
Along with his/her friends, your child will be learning early stage 21st Century Learning Skills – Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Communicating and Collaborating. These skills are vital for successful formal learning in the changing world of education.
Why Use iPads?
- iPads create an interactive learning environment.
- iPads suit a wide range of learning styles; they’re intuitive, tactile and motivate children to be highly engaged.
- iPads are lightweight and portable, making them suitable for use in a wide variety of indoor and outdoor settings.
- iPads are a multi-media device – preschool children can use them to take photos, record audio and shoot videos in different places.
- iPads are a multi-purpose device. They can be a science lab, research station, history archive, language lab, art canvas, music studio and library.
- iPads are instantly responsive - touch screens enable children to use their fingers to tap, swipe, rotate and ‘pinch’ to change the size of images. This is especially beneficial for younger children, who learn by doing.
- iPads allows learning to be spontaneous and children can build on their individual interests and strengths.
Tips for Parents and Families
- Technology is everywhere and it is here to stay. Here are a few tips to ensure your child is using technology in an age-appropriate and beneficial way:
- The keys to beneficial technology time are interactivity and adult participation. Good educational apps or computer programs should facilitate conversation between parents and children.
- Screen viewing time needs to be regulated, as children become passive or inactive when they spend too much time on a tablet, smartphone or watching TV. Current health regulations suggest children between 3 and 5 years old should spend less than one hour a day!
The Story Behind Cherry.bytes
Kindercare originally researched, designed and introduced the Cherry.bytes program in 2000, to provide a unique computer and technology-based learning program that would complement the New Zealand curriculum framework, Te Whâriki