The "little ones" LOVE the SMARTboard. It's very tactile and now the new boards are multi-touch, so more than one person can touch and use it at the same time. MP3 players are another good piece of equipment for the little ones. With help, they can record their voice for playback. Or listen to audio books. I love the Wii idea. As we all know, little ones are always on the move. A kindergarten teacher friend uses her document camera & projector to show her kiddos where to start on a worksheet or how to do something up close. Have fun!
I teach Kindergarten and I use the projection system/smartboard/document reader daily. I pull in youtube short clips for counting, alphabet, alphabet sounds, days of the week, months, seasons, etc. It is also valuable for discussing directions, showing samples up close (example counting/math, reading stories, tying shoes etc.) I am not sure what technology you already have in place. But the webinar on March 29th talked about ipads and several apps teachers are using. Flip cameras and digital cameras are also fun. What technology do you already have in the classroom?
I have been using the ipads with a K-2 Special Ed class and I recently got an ipad 2 and yesterday it was raining and so I took pictures of the kids with their boots and coats and umbrellas and took pictures of the flowers outside and the puddles all on the fly with ipad camera and then connected it to a projector and used StoryKit app to create our own book and they each talked about a picture we had taken and how it related to the weather and rain etc. In the end we had a book with their voices recorded. On Friday they are going on a field trip to a farm so I asked the teacher to take pictures so we could create a class book together on the ipad.
How fun and how great that your school is able to find some money for learning! $2500 can go a long way!
Does the principal have any learning priorities that need to be addressed based on the school population? What is in the school's strategic or curriculum plan? Are there special considerations that need to be taken account like community considerations or content areas? Technology that is portable can also be used in other scenarios like PD for teachers and parent workshops.
Here are some ways I've seen technology work in Pre-K that might be an option for your school:
- Document cameras with interactive whiteboards (don't have to be expensive) where children can read and follow a read along, edit and interact with content (approx 350 + 600)
- Wii game with microphones and Karoake games where children can read and sing lyrics off the screen (approx 600)
- An iPad AND a few iPods in centers for children to work on math and ELA skills, or read books, or create stories using Story Kit and StoryRobe (like JoAnn mentions) (approx 500 +600)
- Stop motion software like iCreateToEducate (free demo version where children can use toys to capture stories)
- A gooseneck webcam (flexible so that you can use it to take pictures and to video conference) (approx 60)
I think a combination of tools like these and those already mentioned would allow for a lot of flexibility and differentiation. Good luck!