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 Wednesday, January 27, 2010
The IBM KidSmart Early Learning Program integrates new interactive teaching and learning activities using the latest technology into the pre-kindergarten curricula. The program is now being implemented in 60 countries internationally, serving more than 2 million children from remote geographic areas to underprivileged areas of town and cities.

IBM's KidSmart program includes the Young Explorer™, a computer housed in brightly colored, kid-friendly Little Tikes™ furniture and equipped with award-winning educational software to help children learn and explore concepts in math, science and language. Through KidSmart, IBM donates one Young Explorer unit to select schools and also installs educational software for free on a school's existing computers. The program includes follow-up services: If the schools experience software-related problems, IBM will fix the problems and reinstall the programs if necessary.

The program's main target is children who do not have access to computers. IBM thus coordinates with the National Education Ministry to select schools to be included in KidSmart. IBM also runs teacher training workshops as part of KidSmart to introduce teachers to the technology, and also to teach them how to integrate KidSmart as a classroom activity.

Since its launch in 1998, IBM has invested more than $106 million in the KidSmart Early Learning Program, including the donation of more than 45,000 KidSmart Early Learning Centers. The program is now in 60 countries, and has trained more than 100,000 teachers and served more than 10 million students.

There's also a web site available to support teachers and parents. The KidSmart Early Learning website was created in collaboration with the Center for Children and Technology, Bank Street College of Education and United Way. Available in 9 languages, the website includes a guide for parents to encourage early learning at home and a section for preschool teachers that details how they can best use technology to support learning in their classrooms.

Source: IBM website