an easy way to integrate technology
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- They looked fun, but I wasn't exactly sure of their function.
- What exactly do they do?
- What do you get when you purchase Hot Dots?
- They're really expensive; are they worth the cost?
- Are my students going to know how to use these?
- How am I going to manage this technology?
- Is this product durable?
If I wasn't a partner with Educational Insights, I probably wouldn't have tried Hot Dots out as soon as I am now. I'm typically not attracted to products that are in the form of question and answer format. I find this type of activity to be dull and more of a test-prep tool. My thoughts were that if you added a self-correcting pen and called it technology, the children still wouldn't buy in to the whole activity. After all, kids are smart!
This wasn't the case. Sure they can be used for test prep, but that is not the way it felt while interacting with the Hot Dots set. I felt like I was playing trivia. My husband, Jason, and I were sitting on the couch when I opened the set. I started quizzing him about the Human Body. We were having a fun time answering the questions (until Jacob ran up and took my pen). Jacob, my four year old, was so interested in what the pen was doing and how it was making the cool sounds. Of course, Riley, my eight year old, was over two seconds later. She was fascinated by the cards and asked if they were for her. Her birthday was 3 days ago. I told her they were for her to practice with for now and I'd bring them to school in September. She loved the challenge and immediately finding out if she was correct or not. This sparked Jacob asking where his cards were. I ended up ordering a Hot Dots Jr. pen and Jr. card set for him this evening. You can see the set I ordered him below under the Jr. section.
I also found that they're not expensive at all. I've always seen the $50+ price tag attached to Hot Dots. I didn't realize that was if you planned to purchase the pens in bulk, or as a set of six. I learned you can actually get started with Hot Dots for around $19 ~ yay! You can purchase a pen for around $9.50 and get a set of cards for around $9.50 as well.
Yes, I'm hooked! In the video above, you can see the feedback the pen provides for correct and incorrect responses. Each pen type makes different sounds. The dog pen barks. You also get a good glimpse of what the cards actually look like. For me, this is huge. I enjoy seeing the materials that will be in the student's hands. If the the layout is not aesthetically pleasing, the children will not be that engaged and could become distracted. The Hot Dots cards are great!
I received three sets of Hot Dots cards: Synonyms, Context Clues, and Human Body. By far, my favorite set is Human Body. The Human Body cards are larger and include colorful illustrations and pictures. They are developmentally challenging (which I love!). They're not too easy, and they encourage critical thinking.
Please click here to see the pens on the Educational Insights website.
Again, there are so many card sets to choose from. Please click here to see all of the sets available.
They're affordable and portable! Now that I have one pen, I'd like to purchase another so that I can have another partnership working together during our workshop time. I especially love the corrective feedback Hot Dots provide. Now, when I'm working with a small group, I know that my other learners are engaged and receiving appropriate guidance or affirmation for their thinking.
There is also a Hot Dots Jr. app available for $0.99 in iTunes:
Getting ready for school has never been this much fun! With the coaching encouragement of Ace – the Talking, Teaching Dog™, kids will laugh as they play, practice and successfully learn colors, letters, numbers, shapes, patterning, sequencing and more with these 72 engaging challenges for kids to master!