Smart Generation: Training kids’ Brains with Technology
By: Tracey Clayton
Modern technology is a multifaceted phenomenon. On one hand, it has an unnerving power to distract and overwhelm, and on the other, it educates, empowers, and transforms our lives. Kids nowadays are growing up surrounded by stunning gadgets and tech invocations, and unlike their parents, they are a truly digital generation that does not know what the world without internet is.
They realize that the technology allows us to dig deeper, look closer, ascend higher, and visit realms that were considered out of our reach. Missing out an opportunity to take education to new heights is something that we simply cannot afford to do.
A spark in the dark
Today, teachers are given a chance to escape tedious, linear, taxed-based learning. This verbal logic of written or spoken words has lost its power to spark attention and capture imagination in the information age. Besides, digital simulations and models now help the educators to present occurrences that are too big, small or fragile to observe in reality. For example, some classrooms feature cutting-edge ultrasonic detectors that are sensitive to concepts that cannot be perceived otherwise.
Activities can now be shaped not only with text but also models and interactive controls. What’s more, assessment of how children understand teaching concepts is now much more accurate. In general, technology allows parents to provide education at any time and place. After all, the teachers give lessons over the internet and take advantage of the video conferencing as well as a means of collecting real-time assessment data from students.
Tech-savvy kids respond to digital cues eagerly. They should be encouraged to harness the power of tech in order to learn about things that are not even shown in textbooks. Social networks are all the rage, and their time-wasting potential is often highlighted. Well, there are many other educative networks for children to engage with each other and discuss school. Take the example of Thinkswap community, an online exchange system, where kids can download and share study notes, materials, and guides.
Many schools are switching to digital, aware that pen and paper are quickly becoming obsolete. E-books are often a more practical and accessible solution compared to their clunky counterparts. A digital textbook in PDF can be stored on a tablet or a smartphone, and remains available at all times. We have moved past schools where the role of technology is limited to computer classes. It has evolved into an all-around, versatile learning tool for demonstrating new concepts, assigning tasks, and evaluating progress.
The multimedia generation
Multimedia has enriched the art of storytelling and infused it with greater appeal for young students. Namely, the attention spans are dramatically shortened today, and visual and graphic elements are processed by the brain in an instant. That is why video is now widely utilized in class work and homework. There have been many instances in which elementary students produced videos about topics they learned about in classes.
These multimedia projects bring forth computer literacy, but also serve as a motivation enhancer and teamwork practice. We have also witnessed some amazing educational video games that blend learning with fun. For example, epistemic games let students assume roles they aspire to take one day and deal with real-world problems in a digital environment. This is an incredible way to cultivate innovative thinking, problem-solving capabilities and ignite creativity in a young mind.
In the era of digital revolution, kids have a chance to fully immerse in learning. Technology is embedded in our daily lives, and it enables us to learn through social interaction, digital presentation, and play. For teachers, it is much easier to convey a message when you know how to hit all the right notes. So, it’s high time to bring entertainment and ingenuity back to education. The technology is already redefining it, albeit its implementation is still far from ubiquitous. There’s a lot of ground to cover here, and we should not take success for granted.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She feels she knows a thing or two about raising happy, healthy and confident kids, and offers helpful advice in hers parenting articles. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”