School Readiness

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Tapping Into Technology - Exploration and Discovery

Tapping Into Technology Booklet Cover; image of children with adult holding and looking at digital device; Fairfax Futures logo




Page 7 - Exploration and Discovery

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Children are naturally interested in observing the world around them, asking questions about what they see, investigating objects, predicting what might happen if they try a particular step or activity. You can help your child develop a passion for exploration and discovery by encouraging natural scientific curiosity about the way things work in the world

There are many ways that technology can be helpful as an investigative tool to enhance and empower the development of curiosity about the world.

Record experiments with photos and video

When you engage in hands-on science activities, such as simple sink or float experiments or experiments that are more involved, help your child record the experience through photos and video.

  • Watch the footage during the experiment to talk about why you are getting a certain result or what you might try next.
  • View the footage after the experiment and discuss the results. This reflection period allows children to think critically and improves comprehension.
  • Share the footage with family and friends and give your child the opportunity to explain the activity; this enhances your child’s memory and later recall of this experiment.

Use the time lapse feature on digital devices

Many digital cameras have a built-in time lapse features that allow the camera to take a picture at given intervals throughout the day. Photos can be played back in quick succession to observe growth or movement. This gives your child an opportunity to observe something in a few minutes that would normally take hours, days, or weeks.

When a digital camera with the time lapse feature is set-up in a stationary place, it can capture numerous scenarios such as:

  • The progress of a shadow across the ground.
  • The growth of a plant.
  • A butterfly hatching from a chrysalis.

Engage in virtual field trip opportunities

Many national and educational institutions offer virtual field trip experiences. You can view tours of historic sites, national parks, science labs, museums, NASA’s exploration of Mars, and much more.

  • Base your virtual field trip experiences on the questions and interests of your child.
  • Take a “real” field trip to a special place and then follow-up with virtual field trip opportunities that reinforce and extend the learning.
  • Help your child create a recorded virtual field trip by planning and photographing (or making a video) of a special trip that you take together.

PDF version of Tapping Into Technology *

* Fairfax County is committed to nondiscrimination in all county programs, services and activities. To request reasonable accommodations or to receive this information in an alternate format, call 703-324-8100 or TTY 711.

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