Technology can be an incredibly valuable resource for students to expand their knowledge and interests. The internet provides access to a vast amount of academic sources and educational content, many of which are highly recommended for students of all ages. However, with modern technology all around us, it’s also easy for kids to become overly dependent on these resources – especially if they have grown up with technology their entire lives. Are your children too reliant on technology? Tutor Doctor has some excellent tips that will help encourage your child to “unplug” and step away from the screen.
Visit a library. Although e-books and online readers likely provide access to most common reading materials, there’s just something about visiting a real library that can’t be replicated in a digital environment. Kids are often amazed to see shelves upon shelves of books, all available for them to freely explore. Plus, having a library card (and adhering to due dates) is a great way to introduce time-based responsibilities to younger children.
Liked the movie? Read the book! As people often say when literature is adapted into films, “the book was better.” In many cases, the length and depth of a novel is something that can’t easily be duplicated in a feature film. If your child enjoys a certain movie or program, see if the book is available! Many wonderful children’s classics (Roald Dahl is a great example) have had much-adored family films made after them. If they liked the movie, encourage them to read the book as well!
Try family “unplugging” time. Set aside a designated time where everyone agrees to step away from their electronic devices. Whether you choose to have independent time or a group activity (board games are always a great choice), setting an example for your kids will encourage them to see the value of limiting their screen time.
Experience the outdoors. A trip to the park or a short hike are both excellent ways to enjoy nature without needing to rely on technology. If you’re more comfortable with the outdoors, camping or a day-trek are also fun activities for the whole family.
Use technology to peak interests, but make it happen in real life. As we said before, the internet is a wonderful resource for kids to expand their interests and research topics they want to learn more about. Encourage your kids to do research online, and then make that experience come to life. Has your child taken an interest in animals or aquatic life? Visit a zoo or aquarium! Do they enjoy making art or taking photos? Take a trip to the local museum! This is a great way to bridge educational concepts into real-life applications.
Encourage limiting technology use during school and homework time. If it’s not necessary to use technology or an electronic device, we recommend keeping it put away. This can be especially important for math classes. Students often become dependent on using calculators for operations they should be able to do by hand – or in some cases, have been instructed to not use a calculator to complete. It’s important for students to learn the process behind mathematical operations, and punching numbers into a calculator doesn’t always cut it. Many students also forget that important upcoming tests may not allow the use of a calculator – the SAT, for instance, has a “no-calculator” math section where devices are prohibited.
Although technology and the internet are incredible resources, encourage your kids not to become too reliant on them. However you go about it, taking a break from electronic devices is always a good thing!