Bright, Fun Computers from IBM Cause Bright, Fun Smiles for Students in New York

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Bright, Fun Computers from IBM Cause Bright, Fun Smiles for Students in New York

IBM donation

By Tara Laskowski

For young learners, access to cutting-edge technology can make all the difference. That’s what teachers and students at Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI) are grateful for after receiving a donation of five Young Explorer computer learning centers from IBM through Good360.

With the computers, nearly 150 preschoolers in the Young Autism Program at two of DDI’s learning institutes in New York now have access to all kinds of learning at fun, colorful and interactive stations. Young Explorers are computers housed in brightly colored, kid-friendly Little Tikes furniture and equipped with award-winning educational software to help children learn and explore concepts in math, science and language.  IBM provided training to ensure the effectiveness of the donated technology.
“Since we provide services to very young children, the Young Explorers provide an enriched computer experience,” says Christine Ponzio, program director of the schools at DDI that received the donation. “Many of our youngest learners begin with simply using the mouse and understanding how to operate the mouse. The software on the Young Explorer provides students with nice visual stimulation and also provides immediate cause and effect which promotes quick learning in use of the mouse.”

Students work on various educational goals such as understanding prepositions, identifying shapes, learning about holidays, and a variety of other preschool learning goals. In addition, says Ponzio, the two-person bench promotes social skills development, turn-taking, and other pivotal skills. “The children look forward to exploring every day.”

The Young Explorer computer donation program, managed by Good360, is the centerpiece of IBM’s KidSmart Early Learning grant program. DDI has received donations previously through IBM and Good360, and Ponzio says that the computers have not only been a fun experience for the children, but have also helped the teachers develop more focused curriculum goals.

“Donations like these provide learning through a new media,” says Ponzio. “With the addition of the Young Explorers, we have been able to have a more educational/social focus since there is more availability of the computers.”

Web-based training was also provided for the teachers in order for them to become proficient with the device and its software.

“We are so grateful to the IBM Corporation for this incredible gift,” says Ponzio.

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