There’s no doubt about the growing function of technology in children’s development. While there’s no replacement for learning with other people, or exploring new ideas through messy activities like worm farming, technology can act as an additional aid to independent learning.
Technology can also be used collaboratively to provide children with greater educational experiences and there are several ways you can use technology to enhance your children’s development. From e-readers and games to multimedia presentations and electronic recording devices, it’s all about how you use your tech.
Make their reading interactive with an e-reader
Adults use e-readers primarily just for fun, to read their favourite books in a handy, portable way. But for children, an e-reader can be a really useful learning tool, which can help improve their literacy skills as well as their technology know-how.
Kids can practice their reading skills alongside their parents with an e-reader, but also on their own. This means their learning doesn’t always have to be dependent on having a grown-up with them. Through interactive narration and animation, kids can develop their comprehension, phonics, vocabulary and word definitions.
Increase their concentration with electronic games
Children are often totally engrossed when they play games on an electronic device. That’s because they’re concentrating, and this will help them hugely in the classroom.
Learning applications and gaming require children to pay attention to details. And this can only be beneficial for their development in focus and concentration. Setting strict time limits will help keep this kind of play a controlled part of their overall interaction with screen time.
Expand their horizons through technology
There are some things most children don’t get to see in real life. Exotic animals, unusual buildings and different eco-systems – these are all available to kids through technology. By watching multimedia presentations, children can gain a greater understanding through sound, sight and interaction. This pushes their development beyond what they can learn through books and TV alone.
Use technology to record activities
Using recording devices is one of the best ways to combine hands-on play with technology. Give your child the best of both worlds by setting up a really tactile, natural activity and then adding a technology aspect by filming it.
For example, kids will love getting their hands dirty in the soil during some fun worm farming. They can create their own home for creepy crawlies and then use a smartphone, tablet or camcorder to film the different processes involved in worm farming. They can keep a diary that they’ve typed on the tech device all about the food scraps, bedding material and worm behaviour.
Tech devices to aid development
The following technological devices can be used in harmony with traditional materials like books as part of a child’s overall learning to aid their development:
- Electronic games
- Tablet or computer for multimedia presentations
- Video camera on a smart phone or camcorder
With this two-pronged approach, you can ensure your children get the best support in their development possible.
Guest writer: Ame Rukwongsa – freelance children and education writer