With so many students using laptops and tablets as a core part of their academic routine, parents often have concerns about “screen time.” Not all screen time is bad, though – here are 4 ways kids can be more productive with their screen time!
1. Educational games. It’s no secret that kids love video games, but parents are often surprised to discover how many fantastic educational video games are available. As an example, the Civilization series has been around since 1991 and focuses on the history of humankind’s progress – both technologically and culturally. Several games have a distinct focus on academic topics, and other video games (while not strictly academic) can still provide cognitive benefits. To read more about the benefits of playing video games, click here!
2. Educational films. Movie night is fun for the whole family, and there are plenty of excellent films that depict historical events in a dramatic new light. Documentaries about current exploration – like BBC’s Planet Earth series – teach kids to appreciate the planet we all share. For some great suggestions, check out our blogs below:
3. Interactive apps. We love apps that encourage movement – whether it be exercise or venturing out into the world! Scavenger hunting and hiking apps are a ton of fun for kids of all ages, and several of the most popular app games from the last decade require going outside (anyone remember Pokémon Go?).
4. YouTube channels. Everyone loves to browse YouTube, but a lot of people don’t know that YouTube is now a hub for educational content! There are quite literally thousands of academic-focused YouTube channels, many of which are shown in classrooms by teachers. We put together a great list of YouTube channels for different age ranges – check them out here!
When it comes to screen time, it’s important for parents to keep in mind that we shouldn’t necessarily see our kids’ heightened use of electronic devices as being a bad thing. Although it’s never a good idea for a child to be glued to a screen all day, encouraging them to seek out quality content will help them to optimize their screen time. Parents often report that social media apps constitute the majority of their student’s device usage (especially teens), which unfortunately comes with its own set of problems! We recommend all parents brush up on internet safety and how to talk to their kids about online privacy.