by Monica Olivera from www.mommymaestra.com
Time is flying by and in the blink of an eye, what we learn and how we learn it is changing.
Today, our children are bombarded from all sides by the technological advances that are exploding across the globe. From iPhones to iPads, eBooks to hand-held games, children are discovering new paths of learning. But one big question that looms for parents is: Should we be using technology to teach our children?
As a parent with young children, I think it is important to introduce technology to my kids in a controlled setting – our home(school) – so that they not only discover what a valuable tool tech devices can be for learning, but also so that they learn to use them responsibly and view them with the proper perspective.
We set limits on screen time in our home. And I also am able to monitor the software and apps my children use. In fact, I set up a computer in our home just for the kids and had all the software taken off of it except for Word, Paint, and a few others. Over the last year or so, I have slowly added software games that are educational and teach math, reading, and language. I’ve seen how using programs from School Zone, Scholastic, and Hooked on Phonics have improved my kids’ knowledge and skills in the previously mentioned areas.
This year, I also bought myself an iPad, but most (if not all!) of the apps that I have downloaded are geared for my children’s learning. I have focused on apps that teach math, science, and geography. My kids love the games and I love that they have improved their simple addition skills, and now know where all the states are found within the continental United States! Apps like i Learn with Boing: Savannah! are perfect for teaching math in a way that engages little minds and their fingers. And interactive storybooks like those from the Magic School Bus are good for introducing preschoolers and kindergartners to life in different ecosystems. I know that encouraging my kids’ interest in STEM field subjects now, can lead to a lifetime love of learning and a successful career.
When my kids grow up, I want them to be in control of the technology at their fingertips – I don’t want it to control them.
What about you? Do you use technology to supplement your child’s education?