Online adventures for young learners

| September 1, 2015 | 0 Comments

Reviewed By Fiona de Villiers

There is a wealth of websites for use in the early childhood learning classroom.

Teachers may wish to visit the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) site at, for example. Here, principals, management teams and early childhood development practitioners will find that although much of the information is related to United States (US) education policy-making and implementation, there is still much to be gleaned from what US teachers are doing with tiny tots. Read the NAEYC statement on the current and heart-breaking plight of young children crossing the border into the US from Central America, learn about the latest teacher research on laughter in the classroom, technology, children as artists and early childhood science on this colourful, clearly defined and easy-to-navigate site.

From the field

ZERO TO THREE ( describes itself as “a national, non-profit organisation that provides parents, professionals and policymakers the knowledge and know-how to nurture early development”. American teachers call it the nation’s leading early childhood development online journal resource. If you visit right now, you’ll catch the ‘Stories from the Field’ series, including articles on immigration and acculturation, recovering from traumatic loss, working with parents in the criminal justice system, group intervention to support parent–child relationships, and components of successful home visiting programmes. Whilst the topics have a general American context, overall, this is a site that special education needs caregivers will appreciate, and which all educators can pass onto to those with whom they partner in the community.

A friendly face

Sharon Macdonald (, a USbased early childhood specialist, has such a friendly face and a bright, energetic site that even the most jaded teacher will be inspired to press on with the job. It’s an excellent site for teachers who’ve perhaps not had much internet experience, or who are experiencing their first year ‘at the chalk-face’: easy to navigate and full of free stuff. She’s all about reading and learning through playing and an environmentally friendly approach to schooling.

A treat for the overworked teacher

I signed up for the moment I came across it, and every day I am rewarded with a new digital basket of teaching and learning opportunities. This Day in History, Today’s Birthday, Daily Warm Ups, Today’s Dorling Kindersley Clip Art and Web Books, Fun Brain Games, Teaching Tip of the Week, Teachable Moments (a focus on current events around the globe), Featured Video, Classroom Connections (another global sweep) and General News Headlines are all subsections ideally tailored for the busy teacher, and are all indicative of a website staffed by complete professionals who understand the terms ‘global education’ and ‘life-long learning’ across curricula and subject disciplines.

Get off the grid

And, as they say, last but most certainly not least is the superb, a website made visually riveting because it runs multiple live broadcasts from different parts of the world, tracking events in the wild as they unfold. Who can possibly resist the charm of pandas, polar bears, dolphins and penguins ‘doing their thing’? Let your learners track the birth of endangered species and watch thrilling ‘episodes’ of a wide variety of global inhabitants simply surviving another day on planet earth.

Sites reviewed:

Category: Spring 2015

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News posts added for Independent Education by Global Latitude DMA

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