Wednesday, January 18, 2012


For some of our students, learning to use technology tools even at a very early age, is second nature. By age two these kids ( mine being among them!) can use an iPhone or iPad better than most adults I know. For others, however, walking into the library or computer lab as a kindergartner is the first exposure they have to any sort of computer resource. Regardless of the skills they arrive with, it is our job to help all of them learn how to use technology resources.

Starting out right away with Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer might be fine for some, but for other young ones a more basic browser may be necessary. KidZui can help with that! It is an internet browser created specifically for young children. It requires a quick, FREE, download to each machine, which is a bit of a hassle, but is time well spent.

Once downloaded, you teach students to look for the orange "K" on the desktop. When they open the browser, it completely takes over the machine. Students can watch videos, play games, use favorites buttons, and practice navigational techniques like back button, forward button, and scrolling. 

If you use a seating chart, you can even preconfigure the options so that the games are targeted to boys, girls, certain ages, etc. Most of the videos stream from YouTube, which of course will be blocked for us. The games and other interactive sites will work beautifully, though. They key to KidZui is that even though children are consuming the same type of media as the "Big Internet," only these resources have been hand selected by parents and teachers. 

My two and four year olds love KidZui. I highly recommend it to parents of young children, because one of the features is that it emails you a chart each week they use it detailing how much time they spent on each area of the browser. I like it because my kids are learning how to navigate the Internet, but because of how the program works they don't have free reign out on the world wide web. Boundaries are good for children! 

KidZui comes highly rated by CNET and several other major tech media outlets. Check it out for yourself! 

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