Tag Archives: color

Improve Your Child’s Test Scores

Ready For TestingChester Creek is all about color and kids. Color helps kids learn. It improves memorization and comprehension. It engages students and keeps their attention. Color makes learning less frustrating by breaking up the solid, black field on most keyboards. It helps children better cope with Dyslexia about 85% of the time. These are just some of the reasons why we LOVE color and what we do here at Chester Creek Technologies.

Did you know that standardized testing is starting as early as the 3rd grade? And included in those tests is Keyboarding? But, many schools don’t start teaching keyboarding or touch-typing until middle school, if it is offered at all. To us, that can be frustrating for all involved. The child gets discouraged and loses interest in keyboarding, the parent gets frustrated at the school system, and the educator doesn’t get high test scores which can mean loss of funding. It’s a lose-lose-lose situation.

We believe that proficiency on a keyboard will help with the proficiency on the test scores. There are many advantages to children learning keyboarding at a young age versus later in on middle school, junior high or high school. Some of them include: learning proper finger placement, learning the correct layout, learning touch-typing versus hunt and peck. It is much easier to start teaching them younger with good keyboarding habits then trying to break bad habits that they’ve picked up over time by not taking a keyboarding course.

Chester Creek Technologies offers a variety of beginning keyboards for a parent to start teaching their child or for the educators to place in their classrooms. The LearningBoard is color-coded by vowels, consonants, numbers and function keys. This keyboard is great for learning the very basics. The LessonBoard is color-coded by zone to support state CORE standards for teaching keyboarding/typing and the color-coding supports correct finger placement. This keyboard helps improve precision, speed and accuracy. CCT also designs large key keyboards such as the KinderBoard and MyBoard-lc. Both are great options for a child’s first keyboard.

To learn more about children’s keyboards from Chester Creek visit our website: http://www.chestercreek.com/childrensProducts.html


Colors of the Wind

“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.”
-Georgia O’Keefe
We see the world around us through an array of colors. Red apples, green grass, blue skies. The colors we see affect our impression of the things that we are seeing, whether we know it or not. For instance, a bright red has been shown to stimulate the autonomic nervous system, creating a slight change in pulse and blood pressure. These effects occur because color is perceived, not only on the surface of the brain, but also in the limbic system, which is often referred to as the “primitive brain.” Red, given this fact as well as its cultural associations, can influence people to be more risk-averse and detail-oriented. Even blind, color-blind, and blind-folded individuals have been shown to experience different physiological sensations under different color lights.

Blue and green, conversely, have been shown to have a calming effect on individuals and to stimulate creative thinking. Certain shades of blue have even been shown to slow the heart rate. It is for this reason that “cardiac blue” is so frequently used in medical centers and hospitals. The debate about certain color improving productivity has gone on for a long time. The truth is, different colors can encourage different types of productivity: red for detail-oriented work and blue for creative work. Blue has also been shown to act as an appetite suppressant. Yellow caution signs and the like work well because yellow is an attention-getting color. Too much yellow, however, can cause headaches and irritability because it over stimulates the eyes.

Similarly, experts advise refraining from over use of color. More than six bold colors in any one piece (wallpaper, for instance) can be overwhelming and inhibit cognition.

Children are usually drawn by warm, bight colors. Using these colors in learning environments can have very positive affects. A classroom decorated in friendly colors can reduce stress, improve visual processing, increase focus and attention span, and aid brain development in visual thinking, problem solving, and creativity.  In fact, color speeds up learning and retention by as much as 78% and use of bold colors (as oposed to black and white) can increase IQ by up to 12 points.

For special needs children specifically, color can be either helpful or harmful, depending on how it is used. Regular, geometric patterns can be used to stimulate the pattern seeking part of the brain and reduce visual stress (in comparison with irregular or more complicated patterns). Autistic children in particular can be overwhelmed easily by color. Researchers have found that approximately 85% of autistic children see colors with greater intensity than do their neurotypical peers. This is not to say that the learning environment of a child with an ASD (Autism spectrum disorder) should be devoid of bright colors or decoration, but rather that bold colors should be used carefully, in that setting. In fact, we have heard from several parents and instructors that children on the spectrum benefit greatly from our colored keyboards because of the color-coding.

Dyslexic children generally benefit from well-used color.  A study has shown that 80% of dyslexic children showed increased understanding of read materials when displayed with a colored overlay.  Color-coding by character set can help with spelling on keyboards for those with dyslexia. Those with ADD and ADHD are also helped by the use of color.  Color has been shown to help with focus for these individuals as well as individuals with Down Syndrome by maintaining interest and breaking monotony.

The benefits of using more color are not limited only to children; repetition of colors has also enhanced the memory of nursing home residents and productivity across most demographics.

Tiny Mouse

Tiny Mouse
Parents or teachers who are thinking about introducing children to a computer at an early age should consider investing in a kid’s mouse. A children’s mouse works just like a regular mouse, but it is smaller and much easier to use for little hands or individuals with dexterity problems. A kid’s mouse may also have fewer buttons. Chester Creek’s Tiny Mouse is a standard three button mouse, only in miniature. It is great for kids, because the size makes it something that they can easily grip. This also facilitates clicking and dragging because the buttons are in easier reach, reducing the frustration kids can feel, even with the myriad age-appropriate educational games offered. This can also benefit those with dexterity or learning impairment.
Additionally, our kid’s mice use optical tracking technology. This is opposed to the ball from older models that often got dirty and lost function. Our mice require no software to install, either, and the ease of plug and play means that you can switch mice with users, keeping a standard mouse for adult users and fun, kid’s mouse for children. This is perfect for use at home, in school, or at the daycare. Teachers have found Chester Creek’s line up of kid’s mice to be more durable than standard mice, and kids will love learning with a moues made just for them.