Does technology have a place in education? The fascination your child has
with technology can be leveraged for learning. Of course you must tailor
each child’s daily dose of screen time to their age and to recommendations
from professionals, but you can use their tech time for teaching. Downloading
games and apps with an educational twist can help your child to learn
Active engagement: Choose games and apps that are educational and require input from your
child. Apps and games that require tactile engagement and manipulation
of objects around the screen help your child to better remember content
and improve their fine motor skills.
Make screen time interactive: Stop them from time to time and ask them to explain the story or the
game, ask questions and get them to retell bits of each story to help
with communication and comprehension skills.
Problem solving skills: Pick a range of apps and games that require different skills and work
different parts of the brain. When you select games that require your
child to solve problems, you help them to develop their analytical skills.
Make technology fun: There are games for every skill your child needs to acquire, so make
tech time fun. For each new math concept or language skill, you can choose
from a plethora of different games and apps to find the one that your
child enjoys the most.
Start by looking at the curriculum to see what skills and concepts will
be taught over the coming academic year. Then download a number of games
and apps for each one that your child can choose from.
Set times for technology: Set a timer on your tablet or smart phone to switch off when the allotted
screen time is up. This will help to alleviate any arguments that may
ensue when you want to end a session.
Ask your teacher: If you aren’t sure what apps are appropriate tools for teaching,
ask your child’s teacher for help. Teachers can help you to get
the best apps to teach the skills and concepts that they will be covering
in their curriculum or apps that they already use in the classroom.
Stick to the limits: Too much technology, even if it is educational, can lead to behavioral
problems, obesity and an inability to socialize well with others. It’s
important to keep track of how much time your child is spending on computers,
tablets, smart phones and in front of the TV.
Pediatricians from the
American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that children should have no more than 2 hours of screen time
a day and should not have computers or TVs in their rooms. Of course it’s
difficult to limit screen time to just a couple of hours, especially as
children get older. However, the more time they spend outside and engaged
with physical, academic and family activities, the more likely they are
to be healthy and well adjusted.
Pic by Kids Making It