Recently I had the opportunity to work with Laura Jienke, founder of the brilliant Bluebee Pals in a preschool in Naples, FL - we had a blast! The teacher had been celebrating Dr. Suess's Bday & NEA's Read Across America the nationwide reading celebration that takes place the whole month of March. When Laura asked me to read a Dr. Suess book I was more than happy to since there had been some talk that his first book, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, was not politically correct. (That book was written in 1937 and the world was a different place, use it as an opportunity to share some history - don't ban the book...) Bluebee Pals Celebrate with Creativity her at the Methodist School Day School!
The classroom looked like it was straight out of a Martha Stewart magazine!
The lead teacher made us feel right at home, the classroom not only had a Suess theme it was crawling with Bluebee Pals and cool creative projects like this graph. The teacher graciously gave the circle time over to myself and Riley the Zebra to share one of the masters famous books ~ One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, the children helped to read the book and eagerly engaged in a counting activity. We also shared the Bluebee Pal dedicated app and got the kids off their bottoms and actively taking turns with the screen. I don't know who had more fun, Laura and I or the children!
This event made me realize just how entrenched my life has been with the special needs population. The Bluebee Pals have grown and developed into an awesome affordable assistive technology tool and are adored by all children. What gives them the staying power with children with special needs is their ability to adapt to so many different skill areas all while being a trusted friend and companion for the child. The pairing of the digital screen with the physical plush promotes multimodality learning which gives learners many advantages which include the ability to learn more quickly and at a deeper level so that recall at a later date will be stronger. Bluebee Pals have become a trusted companion to both teachers and students and TWA is delighted to have filmed a tutorial this same day which can be viewed here: https://www.bluebeepals.com/tutorials/
Jayne Clare is dedicated to being in the forefront of the ever-changing digital landscape. She has been working directly with students and startups and recognizing what works and what doesn’t, along with the why behind both. Jayne co-founded Teachers With Apps in 2011.