21 May How does technology help kids?
Children of the present time are well aware of all the technology around them, and are very quick learners when they need to figure out how to play that new game. Is there a way that we can use this enthusiasm in a structured way, so that along with gaming, they can also learn something along the way?
It used to be “a child with a new toy”, now it could probably be edited to “a child with a new gadget/game”! Along with parents getting the latest devices on the market, the kids too are keeping up with all the new interfaces and games available. Though I would not advise their online or gadget time to be completely about concepts and learning, as that would make it a bit less approachable for the child, I am all in favour of inserting some hints even into the playing of the game that keeps it fun as well as makes it educational for the child. For e.g. while playing that eternal favorite Angry Birds, if the child were to start thinking about the trajectory and how it impacts the results, he would get better at the game as well as learn something.
Teachers and educators who form the educational leadership the world over have taken to technology for supporting learning. While at school too, there are many learning aids that are becoming prevalent from smart boards to using the internet which are taking education to the next level. Educators need to make a detailed plan for teaching and learning with technology to keep our children and our education system relevant and current.
Most young children already know that information in books, that could sometime become dated, is available in a much more updated and easily accessible form on the internet. It is of great use for assignments and to get ideas for creative projects when they need them. This does not necessarily mean that we leave computers or iPads to be the babysitters, and leave it all to technology. We as parents and teachers, should never feel threatened by technology, and instead need to provide that invaluable regulation and the human aspect to learning too. It is only then that the child can learn to appreciate the ways in which technology can be used in a focused manner, and not just get addicted to information for the sake of it.