Image source: http://bokardo.com/img/daughter-ipad-full.gifTechnology and the internet are revolutionising the way children learn and the way we as parents help our children to learn. Compared to just 20 years ago, the access we all (not just children) have to information is frightening. For parents this presents both a degree of risk and a huge opportunity.
Yes, there are more distractions and potentially waning attention spans; at the same time though, if we can right ways to channel this information then we give children a real head start in developing their minds. Here are a couple of ways you can use technology to keep the stimulating the minds of both your little (and big) children.
For the little ones…
Reports that children as young as one year old can use and enjoy the iPad may still furrow brows among some technology sceptics. However, the ease of which the very young ‘get’ iPhones, iPads and the rest make it hard to deny the tablet’s growing ubiquity in all age and lifestyle demographics.
The intuitive nature of Apple’s interface means that children, as well as adults, take to them like ducks to water. The phenomenal growth in iPad and iPhone use by children has seen the increase of multimedia specifically targeted at parents, who want to harness their child’s fascination with the devices. Check out TechRadar’s 10 best iPad apps for kids or the Telegraph’s best iOS apps for children.
When you realize what great (and productive) pacifier the iPad can be for children, you’ll wonder how you used to keep them occupied before. Letting your child get their mitts all over your iPad is most parents’ worst nightmare, as opposed to something you would do willingly. If you are going to let your toddler loose on your iPad, it’s worth investing in a durable case first, just in case there are any accidents. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is wrestling your iPad back off your little one next time you want to check the latest news headlines (or, rather, fancy a game of Angry Birds…)
For the older ones…
A lot of parents like to supplement their child’s day-to-day education with tuition outside of the normal lesson time. They’ll either want to strengthen up the difficult maths and science subjects that they tend to be weakest in, or to help them excel in subjects where they have already shown promise.
The internet has allowed some companies to put a modern twist on the more traditional forms of tutoring, by delivering classes and lessons online.
Online tuition can go some way to levelling the education playing field for a lot of families. It’s inexpensive compared to face-to-face, private lessons and a lot more accessible. You can settle your child down in the study or another quiet room with a laptop and let the online tutor get on with the lesson, as opposed to organising meetings at tutor’s house at inconvenient times. There are a couple of online tuition options to choose from should you go down this route. You can either choose a set up that reflects the traditional tutoring set-up (a one-on-one lesson) or one where they enter a virtual classroom. Here, they may also be paired with other students and asked to work through problems together.
No matter what age your children are then, there is no reason why you can’t make the amount of time they spend online more productive. We’ve only tipped the iceberg in this post with what options are available to parents. It would be great to hear other people’s tips and advice.
~ A guest post by Michael Smith from iTutorMaths.
*Disclaimer: I received a payment for publishing this guest post.