Technology often gets a bad rap as the destroyer of children’s innocence and cognitive skills, however, technology has also been used in schools, and at home, to help improve a child’s education.
The truth is, the internet is a wonderful tool for a child's education with a multitude of tools available at the edge of our digital fingertips.
Let's take a look at some of the ways the internet can be a tool for education:
Tablets and smartphones have become havens for children to play and enjoy themselves.
Companies have also utilised these digital platforms to create apps which can help teach your child everything from basic colours, numbers and letters to how to code.
Games also allow children to problem solve and improve cognitive skills or just a playground for their imagination, bringing to life things which would not be possible in the “real” world.
Good for the brain
Sesame Workshop did a survey of the iTunes app store and Android’s Google Play. They found that 80 percent of apps under the “education” heading were designed for children and over 70 percent of those were targeted towards preschool and early elementary school-aged children. Older children can create a presentation, make a movie or take a virtual trip to space.
Education has also been impacted by technology, however teachers across the globe are looking at ways to integrate technology with learning. Educational podcasts, Youtube videos, apps have all been used by teachers to improve the way information is conveyed to learners as well as a means to support learners.
Thanks to their portability and familiar, touch screen interface, tablets are the go-to piece of hardware for schools looking to modernise the way they educate and interact with learners.
Thanks to companies such as Amazon.com, e-books have now become almost as commonplace as physical books; this, in turn has had a knock-on effect on textbooks.
Internationally, more and more students are using electronic versions of textbooks, which are easier to carry, more convenient to use (as the allow you to highlight, annotate and link through to additional information online) and often cost less than a physical book.
Podcasts have seen a rise in popularity in recent years, with many likening them to on-demand radio, with the ability to decide what you want to listen to when you want to listen to it.
With a wide range of topics, podcasts range from entertainment news to technology, science, education and more.
Podcasts also allow you to keep learning while you’re busy doing other things, such as walking to class.
The use of podcasts also allows learners to supplement their in-class education with additional information that can be consumed at each individual learner’s own pace.
Replacing the projector or TV in the classroom, YouTube can be used to educate learners visually.
Video can be used to help provide context and increase understanding of complex topics.
Learners can also participate in competitions, social campaigns and more by uploading their own videos to the site.
Educators can record lessons and upload them to the site.
These resources are often free and require nothing more than an internet connection to bring knowledge from around the world to the classroom.