How Technology Can Enhance Your Child’s Learning Experience
By Sally Writes
Nearly half of children aged eight and younger in the U.S. have their own tablet, and on average, American kids spend around two hours and 19 minutes daily using some form of electronic media. If you are worried about how much time your child is spending on their tablet, you can turn the issue on its head by allowing technology to make the learning experience more efficient, affordable and entertaining.
Augmented reality is being marketed to kids as much as to adults these days, with a plethora of cool apps inviting younger minds to dream big. One company that is making waves in this sector is Mardles, which makes AR coloring books, stickers, and stories. Just buy the books, download the AR app, and watch kids’ favorite characters come to life, literally jumping out of the page. Older kids can take it a step further with Augment Education: an AR tool that allows kids to build their own 3D models for different subjects, including health, art, and animation. Some schools are really hopping on the AR train with AugThat!, which uses augmented reality to teach core subjects such as as math and science. Topics include Dinosaurs, Space, and Animals.
If your child loves graphic design, encourage them to put good use to their creations by turning them into works of art. You will need a good printer to faithfully render the exact tones employed by your child. The good news is that the advent of ink printers means your child won’t be running out of ink mid-project. One ink refill produces the same number of pages as approximately 20 cartridges, which makes them a good choice from a cost point of view as well. Those for whom budget isn’t a problem can invest in a 3D printer, capable of bringing characters, animals, jungles, buildings, and vehicles to life – all of which can work beautifully in your child’s next project.
Cutting Edge Apps
There are so many apps kids can have fun with in the summer and during other holidays in which they can be more reticent to learn in traditional ways. Dragon Box Big Numbers is one app that is consistently well reviewed by parents and kids alike. It focuses on long addition and subtraction. Players complete 4,000 operations to gather, trade, buy houses, and unlock new worlds. Brain Pop, meanwhile, invites kids to code and make videos of what they have learned. Duolingo is a great one for kids wanting to learn a bevy of languages. It is totally free to download and use, though in-app purchases are optional.
This movement seeks to make the most of the many hours that older students use on their phone. This learner-centric technology involves breaking up subjects into smaller modules, which can be completed on mobile devices in just a few minutes. Modules include how-to videos, graphics, and listicles, provided in a digestible format that kids can access while on the bus to school, or when they have just a few spare moments free. Top initiatives to watch out for include TED-Ed, TED Youth’s fascinating library of original animated videos which can be used by teachers in class to make learning more interactive.
The use of technology can sometimes be a bugbear for parents wishing their child would spend more time reading and learning. Tech and app developers, however, have woken up to this new demand, providing learning solutions that are curated and more bite-sized than in the past. Embrace these tools and let your child make the most of technology. Who knows? They just might be inspired to specialize in technology in the future.