Author: Chloe Thompson, programmer analyst
Technology brings new possibilities that change the way we teach and learn. For instance, kids are already benefiting from digital learning tools available via smartphones and tablets, which have made it possible to access learning materials and projects 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, both in the classroom and at home.
They also help young learners develop 21st-century skills, and through connected and personalized teaching, help educators with student engagement and motivation. This speeds up the rate of learning, and prevents educational resources from being wasted. Read more below for tips on how educators, parents and learners can use technology as an education tool
1. Using Technology to Build Critical Thinking
Technology enables teachers to engage students in activities that involve several senses at once, making the classroom more fun and interactive. Think of gaming and simulations in the classroom, for example. Education experts argue that using such tools to teach can help young children understand the art of elaboration (the process of presenting a theory/idea) when trying to explore new knowledge, ask questions when trying to test new ideas, and explain their ideas when trying to apply their already acquired knowledge in new settings.
Children learn to search for patterns in different games and simulations. They combine evidence and logic when making critical gaming decisions, the same logic they use to make arguments and solve problems. They learn to rely on facts to express their arguments. And the more they are exposed to high-tech environments, both at home and in a classroom, the more they will be trained to learn from their actions and control their learning. This self-regulated learning supports critical thinking and acquiring new knowledge.
2. Encouraging Children to Get Involved in DIY Projects
There are tons of simple DIY projects that both parents and teachers can use to get children excited about tech. Raspberry Pi 4, for example, creates endless possibilities for kids of all ages to become coders. With a Raspberry Pi kit, your child can build a simple intermediate computer, a personalized retro gaming system or even make robots. For a more affordable option, you can get Raspberry Pi 4 accessories and assemble a basic Raspberry Pi 4 starter kit on your own. Instead of buying a projector to display the computer screens and games they create, you can build one using a smartphone, a shoebox and a magnifying glass. You just cut a circular hole in the shoe box, put the magnifying glass on it and put your phone in the middle of the box in the direction of the glass. Then you can play your video on the wall of your room.
3. Bringing All Kids on Board
Not all kids are the same: some understand concepts faster than others, and this is a fact that traditional classrooms don’t all take into consideration. With technology however, especially through self-directed learning, young kids are able to learn at their own pace and move on to new concepts when they feel ready. Collaborative learning also allows learners looking for more challenges to reach out to and work with other kids at their pace around the world.
Technology has also made it easier for differentiated instruction, a methodology that’s based on the realization that some learners struggle to understand concepts from lectures or reading. It creates room for students to learn through interaction. While no one can accurately predict the future of technology in the classroom, technology forms an important part of every child’s current and future success.
4. Open Education Resources for Kids
There are tons of open Ed resources that parents can make use of in supplementing their children’s formal coursework. Most of them are fun and free, and the content they have is diverse enough to appeal to at least one of your child’s interests. Some of the interesting resources that you can check out include:
- Tux Paint: Designed for lovers of art.
- Python4Kids: Designed for lovers of computer science. It explains the simple basics of programming.
- GettyGames: Lets you build games with/for your child.
- Internet Archive: A virtual library with educational content such as videos, images, and articles. The library is open for all children in the world. Be sure to supervise and make sure the content they explore is kid safe.
Technology is not here to replace pre-existing teaching methodologies but it does strengthen our abilities, enhance our work as educators and educators and help children achieve their full potential in a faster and fun way.
About the Author
Chloe Thompson is a programmer analyst. She absolutely aspires to have the ability to run her own business by 2022. Her mission is to create opportunities for today’s youth and to encourage others to believe in their dreams.
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