As a parent, you want the very best for your child. You know how important it is to give them every opportunity and that means encouraging them to do well at school, helping them with their homework, driving them to soccer practice, and attending their plays and recitals—in short, being there for them as much as possible. Even the most dedicated parent has trouble keeping up with what’s new in education, technology and trends in learning. However, you know something needs to change. You don’t have all the answers but something needs to be done…and fast! In this article, the team at Podar Smarter Schools explore why technology is not your child’s enemy and the benefits of using technology for learning.
What is the root of your concern?
There is a lot of anxiety when it comes to the idea of integrating technology into teaching. Parents are concerned that technology will distract students from learning, or that they won’t have the skills to take advantage of educational apps and programs. Some find the idea of a “digital native” intimidating and wonder if they’ll be able to keep up with their kids and their tech knowledge. Educators and experts often talk about “digital natives” and “digital immigrants.” This is a way of describing people who grew up with computers and technology versus those who didn’t. They also talk about “the language of technology” – a whole language, syntax and vocabulary that people who grew up with technology use and those who didn’t, don’t. Parents often feel like they’re the “digital immigrants,” and that their kids are the “digital natives.” Parents often worry that their kids will think they’re behind, or that their kids will think they’re not as smart because they don’t know technology as well as their kids do. Your concern is valid but does not justify avoiding technology.
Technology in education: what’s the problem?
Some say that technology is the problem with education today. However, the problem lies in the failure of educators in integrating technology into the curriculum effectively. Many schools and teachers avoid using technology in the classroom despite having the available resources and knowing the benefits of using the same. An even larger proportion of schools use technology half-heartedly wherein they do not exploit the potential of the available resources to the fullest. For example, many schools use their smart boards and PCs to teach students how to use basic software such as Microsoft Office and Paint, but not other essential skills such as coding, research and analysis, etc. So we know that the problem is not the availability or unavailability of technology but the lack of its optimal use.
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Why is technology important for learning?
Technology is the way kids learn now: computers, social media, apps, games, blogs and other forms of communication, collaboration and creativity. It’s the way they interact with others and the world. Technology gives kids opportunities to create, communicate and collaborate in new ways. Technology offers new ways to explore ideas, solve problems, learn new things and communicate with others. It’s a way for kids to build confidence and find their voice.
Additionally, technology is everywhere. Our children are going to require great technological knowledge for their careers and future, therefore, abandoning it now will only make their transition to adulthood way more difficult.
Moreover, Technology enables continuous access to educational resources. Learners can simply search the internet and find in-depth detail on demand, no matter what the topic is. It is possible to use technology to tailor learning plans for each student. Lessons can be designed based on student interests and strengths. Another advantage is that students can learn at their own pace.
These are just a few immediate benefits that one sees, the actual benefits are countless!
How can you make technology work for your child?
Now that you know that technology is less of a villain and more of a superhero, you can work towards helping your child get well acquainted with the same. You can do this by:
Getting informed: Read about the latest trends and developments in education and technology. Learn about the latest apps and programs out there.
Allow access to technology from a young age: If you want your child to be comfortable using technology and taking advantage of it, you have to start from a young age. Introduce them to technology and help them learn how to use it.
Be open to change: Change is a constant in the world and especially in the world of education and technology. Stay open to new ideas and new ways of integrating technology into your child’s education.
Technology is an essential part of our lives and part of the future of our children’s lives. Kids learn best in an environment that engages them, stimulates them and inspires them – technology can help do all of these things. Technology doesn’t take the place of human interaction, creativity and critical thinking; it augments it. It makes it more engaging and interesting. Technology can be a great asset to your child’s education. With the right mindset and guidance, you can help your child get the most out of using technology.