1. Tell us about KidVision VPK and how it all got started!
KidVision VPK is produced by WPBT channel 2. It was created in 2008 because the public television station wanted to establish an online program to aid in the education of young children. Penny Bernath was involved with the station as an early childhood education consultant working with producers on content for learning spots that ran, and still run, instead of commercials on their morning programming, called KidVision. The vice president of production, Jack Kelly, asked Penny if she had any ideas about what gaps needed to be filled in the early childhood community and how to fill them online. After many brainstorming sessions, KidVision VPK (Virtual PreKindergarten) was created. Penny was able to pull from her vast training, knowledge and experience that field trips are exciting and everyone can relate and learn from them. The first field trip, to a fire station, went online in July 2008 with 2 users, Penny and Jack. Four years later, there are 30,000 registered users on the website, an APP, and are on PBS Learning Media.
KidVision VPK is a free and certified online professional development for prekindergarten teachers to learn and teach education standards. Parents can also benefit and teach their children, using the free online program and or the free APP. KidVision VPK is a GREEN way to learn because it uses no car, no gas, and no location other than your computer, iphone or ipad. It is available anytime and anywhere. The virtual field trips provide children with experiences to places they may not otherwise go, or if they do, it will give them a greater understanding and background knowledge. They are free, fun, educational and virtual!
With my own experiences, I love teaching 4 year olds because they are at an age of discovery and excitement – they want to know about everything! It is a wonderful time of learning development. I also like the idea of enhancing the preschool thematic curriculum with visuals that children can relate to with stimulating language and communication skills. The field trips teach children about the real world they live in. Most preschools cannot afford to take their children on field trips; with KidVision VPK teachers can bring the field trip to the children.
Teachers are using the KidVision VPK training resource. They are saving time and money on transportation they would otherwise need for face-to-face training. They can do the training at their own pace and place. They can then use the training materials with their students in the classroom so there is no wasted time. The result is knowledgeable teachers and children. We know this working and teachers are using it because to date, we have issued 160,000 credit hours.
5. Is there anything you would like to tell our readers?
Parents and teachers of prekindergarten children want to be sure their children are prepared to start school with the skills they need to be successful. KidVision VPK is a FREE and fun way to be sure you are teaching children what they need to know and have fun doing it!
6. Where can we come to visit or learn more?
Come and visit anytime! KidVision VPK is free online at www.KidVisionVPK.org.