Learning the ins and outs of technology can just be compared to learning how to ride a bike or swim. The younger a child is, the more natural it becomes. This is not a very good news especially if you already feel that you are two steps behind the tech kids. Although helping your children with the normal school work already has challenges, parents should start learning how to assist their children solve maths problems on a iPad and build apps. As most schools start embracing E learning devices and online platforms, most parents may feel a bit scared.
Thankfully, keeping up with the pace is just the same as talking to someone. According to Monica Vila, the founder of the website Online Mum, if you are completely involved, you are never behind as parent. In this world where kids are growing digital, it’s very important to help them know the digital concepts. As a parent, you should play a very important role in helping your children master technology. Here are the 7 tech tips for parents to embrace digital education.
- Get excited about what you are doing
Tablets, computers, and smartphones are some of the gadgets that make children come out of their shells and gets excited. According to Wolpert Gawron of Most Connected Classrooms, these gadgets can greatly bring out the extrovert in any shy student. They encourage communication at a time when there is alto of insecurity among the children. If you want to overcome your digital insecurity, you need to talk to other parents and engage with their teachers. You need to send them a short email and inquire how they use technology in their classrooms. You will be surprised that some teachers run blogs and websites that they use to record what the students learned in school. In addition, you can use the same method to get information about your kids’ progress within a short time.
- Make media use plan for your family and treat media normally
As a parent, you need to ensure that media is working for you and within your parenting style and family values. When used appropriately and thoughtfully media can greatly enhance the life of your young ones. However, when used badly media can displace many important functions such as face to face interactions among others. Apart from this, you need to set limits that you expect your children to reach. Know your children both offline and online and what kinds of platforms, apps, and software they’re using, what they are doing online and what websites they are visiting.
- Show and tell them
If your kid is using a program , website or device that you know then you need to advise them on how they work. Apparently, there is no child who would not love to teach his parent how a gadget works. In the same way, you need to be ready to teach them. Since most parents only use a fraction of the computer or phone, you should ask your child how they use the gadget so as to master some other aspects. By doing this, you will get a shortcut of what they already know.
- Be creative
It’s also important to learn how to be creative on how to use technology together with your kids. As a responsible parent, you should not limit the discussion about the safe use of technology. If you want your kids to be successful in using technology then this is very important. Look for ways through which you can use technology as a family or just encourage your children to use them through school based activities fundraisers and events. Also, start family research projects together and establish a blog or an activity using social media. Make sure, you start family engagement programs such as writing your story using computer and program that’s specifically designed towards getting your children talk about technology.
- Keep tech public
If your kids’ computers are kept in the bedroom, you should move them. This is according to Heather Wolpert Gawron who is a middle age teacher. She further said that 80% of the time, they start the training by saying you should not put the computer in the bedroom. If you want your children to learn then the computer has to be in public. Make sure that what your young ones are doing with the computer is also public. You should follow your children on twitter, befriend them on Facebook and know who their friends are on these platforms are. Apart from keeping the computers in an open place, you should also analyse the browser history to know what they are searching while online.
- Google it
Although this is simple in most instances it’s an overlooked step when it comes to internet safety and understanding technology. Just get online and google your name and your families name and check what’s inside there. As a parent or a child, you need to know that whatever you post on the internet remains permanent. This means any poor decisions you make online can have severe consequences. More so, google has several tutorial videos that can tell you a lot about what’s happening in your child’s life. You may also encourage your children to send you a personalized package for digital care. You can also do this yourself and call your child from your machine.
- Recognise the sportive aspects of technology
Whether your child is in school or in college, you need to be part of any program that encourages the right behavior of your child while at home. You can even set up an acknowledgment or awards programs that can be given to anyone who performs well. You can do this weekly or monthly and if possible showcase the activity that you are acknowledging so that other children can also learn from it. However, while doing this you need to know that kids will be kids hence they need constant guidance. Try to handle any mistake that they make with a lot of empathy and look for any red flag that may signal trouble. You must carefully monitor your children’s behavior and provide professional help if need be.
Technology can be a bit scary if you were introduced to it late. More so, the job of teaching your children how to use it well can feel hard especially when they seem more knowledgeable than us. However, you cannot overlook the obligation of embracing digital education and teaching your kids how to use it responsibly. While you may not have many years of study, there are low investment simple ways to start today.
About The Author
Mia Clarke is part of the community team at Next Day PC. Mia enjoys staying on top of the latest tech trends and sharing how new tech can positively impact people’s lives.