Most people agree that technology helps children to learn better. In fact, with technology being the equivalent of the pen today, your little ones need to be encouraged to develop both their skills and comfort levels around a number of different technologies.
There are many ways you can help your child succeed with technology. Here are our top 10 tips for encouraging your children to use technology in a way that is both effective and appropriate for their ongoing development.
Promote School Readiness
Technology can be used to give your child the skills they’ll need to be ready for school and prepare them for technology as a part of their ongoing education. There are a number of online interactive games that are developmentally appropriate and will help your child to be ready for learning reading and math.
Don’t Ban Technology; Find Clever Ways to Use It
Did you know that YouTube is the most popular search engine for students in grades 5 through 12? Despite this, many schools in the US block the platform. Instead of banning phones or YouTube, find ways to use them as a learning resource. Encourage your child to explore its vast ocean of content, but teach them that safety comes first. One of the most effective ways to keep control of the content your child is exposed to is by using the parental control features offered by platforms like YouTube.
Expose Kids to Different Platforms
No doubt about it – technology will continue to evolve. For this reason, it’s best to encourage your child to become proficient on any number of platforms, from iPad to Windows, MAC, IOS, Android, and Linux. This will teach them how to quickly adapt to different technologies in future.
Expand Their Horizons
One of the most exciting things about technology is that it exposes your child to aspects of the world they would never otherwise have had the opportunity to experience. This may include seeing a rhino in its natural habitat, watching an Olympic event, or attending a unique music recital. This exposure helps children to begin to understand life outside their immediate environment and experience.
Allow Kids to Develop Their Interests and Talents
The online world exposes your child to a variety of activities and skills that could turn into an interest or passion later in life. It also gives you access to online lessons in piano by a master, or karate instruction given by an internationally respected sensei. All this without having to leave your home or spend a fortune on outside tuition.
Improve Language Skills
Online interactive games will help children develop their language skills. They can pick up new worlds and the proper ways to pronounce them by spending time reading eBooks or accessing stories online. You can provide them with picture dictionary or flashcards to boost their vocabulary and teach them to look for word meanings when they come across an unfamiliar word.
Enhance social interaction
As your child’s language skills develop, they begin to absorb ideas and skills that help them to relate to other people. One way to use technology to help your child learn social development skills is to show them how you can solve problems together using technology. You could also show your child how to use tech tools to create projects and to share ideas in groups.
Limit and Maximize Screen Time
Our advice is to limit your child’s screen time. Rather aim to optimize active screen time with exciting online educational games, apps, and websites that give your child the opportunity to create something unique instead of just watching something created by someone else. One of the most valuable ways your child can spend his or her time online is to learn to code. Try out websites that teach children as young as five to start on the basics of coding.
Encourage Responsible Use of Technology
The best way to show your child how to use technology responsibly is to do the same thing yourself. Once you’ve decided what is the appropriate and responsible use of technology in your home, make sure everyone is onboard so your child learns by example.
One of the most important lessons you can teach your child about the responsible use of technology is that he or she will leave a digital footprint online as time goes by. Impress upon your child that once they have posted their image or presence online it will be there for life. Make sure you begin an open dialogue so there will always be space to ask questions or come to you with any problems or mistakes they might make as time goes by.
Teaching your child to stay safe online is equally important. This includes never posting or giving out personal information online and being selective about the sites they visit and the people they interact with.
Let Your Child Sometimes Be The Teacher
Giving your child a new tool and asking them to learn how to use it before showing you the ropes, helps them in three ways. It sets them a challenge that is likely to excite them, gives them a sense of pride and achievement in learning a new technology or online skill, and helps them to develop the skill of sharing knowledge with someone else and helping them to learn. This experience can help your child further develop empathy, patience, language, and social skills.
No matter which platforms or methods you choose to develop your child’s abilities with technology, make sure they get the stimulation they need at home.