Many of us know that our kids are being raised in a digital society, and more and more, you may find yourself bringing technology into your home. Whether it’s the iPad, iPhone, iTouch, Android or other device, inevitably our children are finding their way and are becoming true digital natives. Not only is it in the home, but technology is slowly making its way into our schools and our system is changing rapidly.
We rallied up some of our favorite bloggers to tell us how they feel about the digital tide entering our children’s education systems. We asked them if they’ve witnessed the change yet at home or have seen an impact in their learning experience. Lastly, we were curious how they, themselves, feel about the changes. Most are enthusiastic, some are cautious. Read on.
Gone are the days when I used to fact check everything in my encyclopedia, but that does not mean that we are not on top of our game these days. The immediate response the internet brings us, means knowledge is but a click, swipe and tap away. The other day I chastised my kids for not sitting straight while eating their breakfast, telling them about how important it is for allowing food to head to the digestive systems easily. This piqued their interest and my 6 year old asked if we could Google “digestive system” so she could see some pictures of it on the iPad. Then my 4 year old asked if we could get a video on YouTube to see how food goes down the digestive system. Needless to say, I happily complied and I can assure you those visuals digested well as I have had to make very few reminders about sitting properly while eating these days.
Niri Jaganath, MommyNiri.com
A couple years ago, Max was one of the first kids in his school to get an iPad. His speech therapist was trialing a new speech communication app, the Proloquo2Go, and she thought Max would be into it because he is psyched about all things tech. From the very first second Max used it to tell me he loved the color purple, I knew it was going to be a game changer. And it has been. Max has cerebral palsy, and speech is a major challenge for him. Although I understand the words he’s speaking, many people can’t. The speech app says the words for him. At school and at home, he’s been using it for everything from learning math to reading. It’s opened up his world—but it’s also let his teachers, family and friends into it, too. That is, when his sister’s not swiping it to play Angry Birds.
Ellen Siedman, LoveThatMax.com
The digital experience is a huge enhancement to the learning environment of my home. As a homeschooler, I leverage the digital world to help my children get a more solid footing in the pen and paper world. A great example has happened just this month.
My two oldest children finished their math books and the next step is pre-algebra. I found 3 assessment tests online to help me make sure they didn’t have any holes before moving on and of course they did;). Both of them faltered when it came to percentages (as did I at their age). Utilizing the digital world I found free worksheets that I have printed off and they work with pencil and paper. I have also found online games that give percentages a fun slant. I have even found great youtube videos that illustrate the process in ways I would have never thought of!
The digital experience isn’t something to be feared but embraced! It can not only help to teach but do it in a fun and successful way! At least it does in my Nerd Family!
Jacqueline Cromwell, NerdFamilyThings.com
At home, we keep our kids away from computers and iToys as much as possible. At their preschool, they are taught Spanish by a native speaker who also uses some apps on an iPad to enhance their learning. It’s not a crutch so much as a tool, so I’m comfortable with its use. And because they don’t get to use an iPad at home, it’s very exciting for them to see it in action at school.
My kids are still young (5/3), and I know that soon enough they will be overwhelmingly exposed to all sorts of digitized fun. I also know that learning how to use whichever tool they need will take all of ten minutes, so I don’t feel like I’m stymieing their digital proficiency at all. If it were up to me, they wouldn’t have access to computers in school until junior high. But I think I’m an odd and lonely sort of social media luddite.
Kristin Wald, This Weblog is Unique
How do YOU feel about the rapid changes? Let us know in the comment section below.