“The future depends on what you do today.” ― Mahatma Gandhi
Apps and related hardware such a tablets and touch screen devices are part of the modern knowledge landscape. They can have a huge positive impact on education and early learning, especially in countries in Africa, where the education system is often under tremendous strain and resources are not distributed equally.
Recently in South Africa national government has kicked off an ambitious project that aims to bring tablets into every classroom, and heralds the paperless classroom of the future. The Gauteng education department is planning to introduce electronic devices such as tablets in all classrooms within the next two years – a project that is estimated to cost about R17-billion in total. Learners would have the basic curriculum pre-loaded onto their tablets, with access to updates and remote learning where needed.
As parents we need to be ready for this transformation, and prepare our kids to cope with the technology that they will be using on a day to day basis as they grow.
What can we do?
It is important to realise that the changeover to digital classrooms is unavoidable, but not something to be feared. We must prepare and empower ourselves and our children.
Here are some general guidelines that might help your kids to feel at home with technology and equip them for their education:
- If possible, allow them access to tablets and touch screens. Early learning apps are a good introduction – think alphabet tracing and flash cards.
- Children should be able to touch type as they get older. There are many good tutoring programs that can be downloaded for free.
- Teach them basic skills in Word, and allow them to play around and print some of their creations.
- Bookmark a few safe and kid-friendly sites (and here are some handy tips to Set Up Parental Controls On Your Home Network), and allow them to explore in their own time.
Allow you kids to be comfortable with technology, and they will be ready for the paperless future.
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