It can be tough being a parent; particularly when you’re trying to persuade your children to keep you updated on what’s going on with their friendship groups, what’s happening at school and how their academic work is progressing. The advent of education technology, with children often working online or submitting assignments electronically, can make it seem even harder to keep up with your kids and their school progress. But there are also great ways parents can harness education technology to stay involved and learn alongside their children…
M-learning, short for ‘mobile learning’, means using devices such as iPads, iPods and mobile phones to learn on-the-go. The m-learning market has exploded recently, with thousands of new educational apps being released every day (many of them free to download) and this provides a great opportunity to get involved with your child’s learning in a relaxed environment. Mobile learning enables children to have fun whilst learning, with hundreds of exciting learning-based games and interactive experiences. Try downloading a few educational apps to an iPad or tablet and playing through them with your child at the weekend or during the holidays. From learning about geography whilst browsing Maps of the World to expanding their vocabulary with a silly game of Mad Libs, it’s a great way to make learning together feel like fun.
2. Homework Help
Education technology brings a whole new meaning to helping your children with their homework. Before the advent of the internet it was a simple case of whether or not Mum and Dad knew about the topic in question off the tops of their heads! But now there is an overwhelming choice of fantastic educational options out there to help you support your child with their studies. Learn alongside your child using fantastic up-to-the-minute new resources like the ‘Shakespeare in Bits’ app series, which helps break down complex Shakespearian language using modern translation, images and fantastic actor-read audio files.
3. Exciting Exploration
For the first time, taking your children on educational day trips to museums, art galleries and other exciting places doesn’t have to mean setting foot outside the house! Snuggle up on a rainy day and use a fantastic resource like the British Library Treasures app, which allows you to explore 100 of the most exciting exhibits from the British library in breath taking detail. Or experience the wonder of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) without the expense of a plane ticket thanks to their fabulous online collection. The best thing is that it’s free, ready at the click of a button and you can come back day after day!
4. Keeping it Secure
One of the most important roles for any parent whose children are using education technology is to be a watchful gatekeeper, making sure their forays into the online world are as safe and secure as they are exciting. There are fantastic resources online for parents who want to be closely involved in keeping their kids’ use of education technology secure: try the Digital Parenting teacher centre from PBS or the brilliant resources at Wired Safety.
5. Assessment and Reward
It can be difficult to get children to go through their work with their parents, as any Mum or Dad who has ever tried to test their kid on their spellings or help them revise before the big test will know all too well! But incredible advances in education technology resources can help you find innovative ways of making it fun and simple to check on your child’s progress. Try using an online assessment site like Quiz Library, which has thousands of online quiz options slideshows and guides. And don’t forget the rewards…incentivising learning with certificates and star charts from a great site like DLTK’s Growing Together is a great way to encourage your kids to keep coming back for more!
And if you’re feeling held back by a lack of education technological know-how, try a brilliant site like Woopid (featuring video tutorials for practically any form of technology) to get you all clued-up!