Have you been on the fence about your children using too much technology? As parents we can attest to the fact that too much time spent on Facebook and Twitter can’t be the best thing, but there’s no reason technology cannot be used for the betterment of your child’s education.
In modern times, it has become increasingly difficult for kids to get into the schools or universities of their choosing, and us, as parents, cannot help but worry when their grades are not up to the mark, or if they get that A instead of that A*, that 1% short of a perfect score; but it has never been a better time to be alive, when technologies are constantly being invented and renovated, when knowledge has never been of higher value and order.
An evolving world
Technology, as with most things, has been ambivalent in its relationship with our children. A lot of times it’s the motorcycle-riding leather jacket-wearing long-haired ears-pierced good-for-nothing that our daughters start to date or the kid who is always up to no good that your son chooses as a friend. The online universe has invented new ways of aggression, namely cyberbullying and allowed access to whole new worlds filled with misinformation and nefarious deeds.
However, technology definitely does not have to be the enemy. Like any tool, it can be used for good and bad, and there is no reason you shouldn’t be using it to support your child’s learning. Technology has helped not just kids, but adults in various ways to learn quickly and get relevant information in the easiest of ways. The internet has also allowed our kids access to so much information and researching their projects has never been more fluid – all they really need is to be shown the right direction which you, as parents, can effectively do.
More and more technology is being integrated into education for children. Recently we did a review of educational apps which could help kids learn various facets of their curriculum such as maths, English, spelling and even coding. By infusing fun with learning, technology has provided us with a unique opportunity to capitalise on our kids’ ability to comprehend new processes a lot faster than previous generations.
With it getting tougher and tougher to get into top notch universities (the top 10 universities require a range of 500 to 600 UCAS points), using everything in your arsenal to help boost your kids’ chances is of the utmost importance. Perfect examples are the various tools currently in the market that aid in your kids’ note taking, including terrific devices such as Livescribe‘s range of smartpens.
The Livescribe Echo records everything that a person writes and everything that they hear, allowing your kids to record audio linked to their notes so they will never miss a single word in class. When connected to a PC or Mac, the Echo uploads everything onto special Desktop software, keeping it safe and easily accessible for when it’s needed again. This could really help around exam time when stress levels are high and remembering everything the teacher said is vital. The Livescribe wifi pen goes one step further, allowing you to upload your notes to the Evernote cloud for easy access anywhere and the new Livescribe 3 can even be cleverly synched to an app from the IOS store. Once connected, your paper notes upload to the app and are stored on your device.
Now with better and faster internet speeds, distance learning is also starting to become the norm. Virtual classrooms have become a part of everyday learning, and there is never a lesson missed with the help of video recording and live streaming. For children with disabilities, there are Screen Readers which combine audio to help them read the text being displayed on the computer screen and Sip-and-Puff systems which allow users to use their mouths to access their PC and browse the internet.
What this all boils down to is the fact that technology is a double-edged sword. Or rather, it’s a normal sword that a lot of people seem to have gripped at the wrong end. It’s up to us to make sure that instead of demonising the latest platforms, we know how best to monopolise them to assist in our children’s learning and offer them a brighter future.