Smart Nation: Preparing Our Pre-schoolers On This Vision

[Media Invite]

I am probably one of the rare few parents who are cool with our children hogging on the computers or handheld devices. In face, AJ learns a lot online, be it online enrichment programmes, youtube educational channels, photos and videos editing, you name it.

Last month I attended a software launch for pre-schoolers called the School of Fish by Jules. The invite caught my attention because, well, it is a digital game created for pre-schoolers! Just when every parent is lamenting about children playing too much computer games, these people in Jules are creating digital games for pre-schoolers?  And mind you, at the point of invite, there were already 2 preschools signing up with them for trials! Huh? It certainly worth my time to go ad find out more!

Yea, not surprising I guess. I leant that Jules intends to prepare children for the digital future by using games to teach them Computational Thinking, so this game "School of Fish" was coined. Computational Thinking is a system of understanding and solving problems in a logical 
way that people and computers can understand. It is the ability to integrate human creativity and insight with machine computing power. By learning Computational Thinking through games, children can:
1) Recognize patterns (Pattern Recognition); 
2) Break problems down into smaller parts (Decomposition);
3) Apply a sequential solution (Algorithmic  Thinking); and
4) Re-apply this thought process to other similar problems (Abstraction).

Like Mathematics and languages, I also believe that Computational Thinking will become a basic skill in the new digital economy. Technology is starting to become “part and parcel” of our everyday lives.  But, are pre-schoolers too young for this?

Jules sees the need to prepare its young charges to technology and this School of Fish Computational Thinking Curriculum is only targeted at Kindergarten 2 level. This is fair and needful, I think, because children at Primary one level would have exposure to computers in schools.

“Research has shown that building a strong cognitive foundation during the early childhood years will allow a child's potential to be fully realized. Learning Computational Thinking during this phase will therefore fundamentally change how children think and solve problems for the rest of their lives. Their outlook will never be the same again,” said Mr Lim Wee Kiat, Chief Education Officer, JULES.

So why can't children learn while having fun? With the School of Fish, they can. An expansive body of research has shown that games are some of the most effective ways to learn. When games are played mindfully, children learn metacognition, teamwork and critical thinking; these mental habits can serve them in good stead for the future, and are skills Jules promotes through their games.

You may download School of Fish game through Google Play or Apple App Store. If you are running a pre-school and would like to know more about this curriculum, kindly contact

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