Around Christmas a good friend asked my opinion about this new tool she had stumbled upon while looking up “cool stuff” for which to teach her daughter how to draw. She asked about Osmo for that purpose and I thought it looked pretty cool. Flash forward to FETC (Future of Educational Technology conference in Orlando) and there they were again. After about 15 minutes at the Osmo booth I knew it was valuable. I shared the news with our Director of Technology and several principals around the district. A few weeks later we purchased over 100 Osmos to immediately put to use in classrooms across the district. Today was my first time seeing them in action with students.
Ms. Crim teaches kindergarten at GC Burkhead and since I’ve moved into this role as technology coordinator, she has been so eager and positive about any new idea or tool I tossed her way. I knew she would be the perfect “beta tester” for the Osmo. Edtech tools are so often fun and flashy but lack real substance. How does it relate to what we are trying to teach our students? Where does it fit on the SAMR model or the Create framework? The Osmo far surpassed my expectations.
There are several apps with which to work: Numbers, Letters, Tangrams, Newton and Masterpiece. Today in Ms. Crim’s classroom, we focused on the Numbers app. (A review of each of the applications will coming soon.)
Numbers is my personal favorite of the Osmo suite of apps. It also happens to be the app that BOTH my children (ages 6 & 4) loved. (They’ve requested to play every night this week after homework. You’ve gotta love a tool that makes them THINK they are “playing” when they are actually learning!) Numbers has both dot tiles and number tiles with which to work. The app starts out at a lower level working with dots only. They can graduate to using the numbers once they have reached proficiency. Number combinations, addition, subtraction, and multiplication are just a few of the skills that can be taught using this app. Each of the levels is set up in an “under the sea” type adventure that is visually appealing and completely engaging for the students. The conversations from the kiddos completely blew me away. I barely gave the students directions and the directions I did give…I gave only once. As Ms. Crim rotated kids in and out of the station, we always left one to “instruct” the new students on how to play. Worked like a charm.
After the morning I had with Osmo & kindergartners I am eager to spread the wealth and experiment with Words, Tangram and Newton.
Bravo, Osmo, bravo!