Today’s students are digital natives who have never known a life without computers and the internet. As we all know, technology (in the form of cell phones and social media) shares blame for distracted students and many other problems. But technology also has all kinds of advantages for teachers as well as parents and students. Here are several ways technology can enhance your child’s education:
Your child can dig deeper into any topic. There’s no denying that one of the greatest benefits of living in the digital age is that students can fairly easily track down information on anything. Library resources are available online and anecdotal research is at students’ fingertips. If your child wants to know what a village in Peru looks like, all he or she has to do is look up images online. When your child isn’t certain how to complete that algebra problem (and neither are you), a quick internet search will likely point him or her to a website or video that can help.
There’s an app for everything. If your tech-savvy child doesn’t embrace the paper planner, there are lots of other digital tools that might be of interest—from to-do list apps (e.g. Remember the Milk or Todoist) to full-blown homework/planner apps (e.g. iStudiez Pro). For the child who needs something to keep lots of ideas, notes and brainstorming in one place, tools like Evernote are worth a look. Bottom line: technology has opened the floodgates for creative people to invent useful digital tools.
Digital learning means high engagement. Educators often argue that one of the best things about the infusion of technology into education is the greater variety of learning experiences. Passive learning wherein students listen while teachers lecture is a thing of the past, and difficult topics can now be taught more easily using rich media. There are lots of interactive games and tools to help your child practice concepts taught in class. Your child’s education is certain to be richer because of them.
Your child can stay on top of school work more easily. Many school districts use learning management systems where teachers share homework and updates and students can access their attendance records as well as grades on assignments, tests, projects and quizzes. These systems foster collaboration and help students stay connected and improve their performance.
Lastly, a few words of caution regarding technology use. While the internet is the curious child’s best friend and has dramatically expanded opportunities for independent student research, it can be a big distraction. Use good judgment when establishing family rules for technology time and usage limits. It’s also important to encourage your child to talk with teachers about high-quality, reliable resources when researching online and make sure you reinforce school rules regarding ethical internet usage.
Technology has changed every industry, including education. If you’re ever unsure how your child can get the most out of technological tools, reach out to his or her teachers for guidance. They can advise you on the best ways for your child to use technology to make new discoveries and boost his or her education.
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