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The Canada New Media Fund
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Parents & Teachers


What makes this website worth exploring by the children in my learning environment?

To understand the educational value of the thisisdanielcook.com it is important to get a sense of the principles that underlie the activities created for the child. The creation of the website was influenced partially by Weikart's High Scope approach to educating young children with attention to the curriculum guidelines offered in the Government of Ontario Ministry of Education Educational Expectations guidelines.

To begin, the child is viewed as a capable, active explorer. Games and activities allow for the child to discover by experimenting and by taking risks. Tasks vary greatly as the child pops bubbles, figures out how to blow up balloons, or learns to compose a song on-line. The child is in control of the experience as the site is easy to navigate. The child moves from activity based on one's own interest in a simple fashion. Daniel Cook himself helps the child by giving clear, verbal directions to guide the experience.

The child is able to exercise cognitive skills as one makes choices and decisions in the tasks presented. The child's choices vary in complexity from selecting which colours to paint with, to which character to include in a story, to which musical note and instrument type to add to a composition.

The child is offered verbal and visual praise and encouragement in response to choices and actions made. Daniel continually offers positive words to support the child's efforts, which serve to provide immediate feedback in response to a child's actions.

Central to the child's online experience is the belief that the child is an active, creator in the learning process. The child is provided with a media to construct, experiment, and manipulate a variety of virtual materials that in turn support learning and development.


What are some specific educational benefits of the activities on the thisisdanielcook.com?

The thisisdanielcook.com provides a wide array of experiences supporting a child's cognitive, language and motor development. Here are some examples of the type of skills that the website helps to develop as the child independently explores, creatively constructs and applies knowledge.


Playroom Activities (Bubbles, Helicopter, Dinosaur Poster, Balloon, Ball)

These tasks are based on interests commonly held by children and thus are enticing to the child. Here the child freely explores and experiments without risk and without direction. Not only are fine motor skills promoted, the child's efforts are rewarded by responses based on the child's actions, such as a flying helicopter, a deflating balloon, or a new dinosaur image appearing in the frame.


Art Game

Here the child is given the freedom to select colours and images to create with independently. Valuable fine motor skills are developed as the child uses the mouse to draw or paint with in this risk free environment. This also allows for the child to experiment with a different media and technique in the creative process.


Music Game

In this game the child learns about the structure and the qualities of the musical scale. The game allows your child to select an instrument or sound and map out notes on the scale to create a unique composition. The child can adapt songs and rhymes. The child then can play back the tune or alter it if desired. Familiar songs can also be played using new sounds.


This is My Story

Here the child is given the freedom to select colours and images to create with independently. Valuable fine motor skills are developed as the child uses the mouse to draw or paint with in this risk free environment. This also allows for the child to experiment with a different media and technique in the creative process.

Snowsculpting

This game allows children to build and create using different size patterns and sets of objects. The user is free to create in as traditional or non-traditional use of these common patterns as he or she chooses. This also allows for the child to experiment with a different media and technique (patterned shapes, sets) in the creative process.

Tobogganing

In this game the user is free to move through space in an imaginative and creative manner. Valuable fine motor skills are developed as the user jumps, moves up, down, and avoids obstacles. The interest in this game will be lead by childhood curiosity and imagination from the unique and humorous objects Daniel uses to travel down the snow hills.


How can I use the website activities to support the child's learning when off line?

A central aim of the thisisdanielcook.com is to encourage learning through doing. Recognizing that learning is an active process involving all the senses, the website tasks aim at catalyzing off line activities as well.


Try out these ideas with individual children or in groups...

At group time try having children retell a favorite stories using different characters and props. Encourage the children to take roles and act the story out. This helps to make learning about language fun and creative!

As in the photogallery, make a puzzle out of a magazine picture with the child. This provides a hands-on extension to the virtual puzzle manipulated online.

After working out a musical composition in the music room, have the child write or make up words to sing along with the tune. Record the song and play it for others.

Do an art easel comparison. First have the child draw a self-portrait using a mirror or a real object on line and print the image. Then get out some paper and pencils and do the same task. Talk about the challenges the different ways of drawing presented and how the images are the same and different.

thisisdanielcook.com is an on-line space that allows for the child to have a direct and immediate impact on virtual play materials. Its intention is to excite children to and instill in them the ideals of exploring, learning, creating and applying both online and at home.