It would be fairly accurate to say that people have welcomed modern technology into their lives. This is especially true when it comes to younger generations. However, the children are also affected by it, and since they often don't have the ability to use all that technology in a productive and educational way, it is up to us as teachers and educators to lead the way, and show them how to overcome the negative influences it may have:
- modern technologies can often be very time-consuming
- they don't provide the necessary (and essential) human interaction which is an important element of the learning process
- they don't allow children to spend enough time outside socializing with others
- too much gamification can distort the children's expectations as to what education actually is.
To counter those cons, here are 10 ways how you can help your young students benefit from learning with modern technology.
1. Help Student Tell the Virtual and the Real World Apart
The increased integration of technology can help children learn some lessons much faster, but it's also a double-edged sword. In addition to using it during the learning process, they are also using it to communicate with each other, and as a result, they spend less and less time in the real world. It is up to you to help them realize that the virtual world is not a substitute for real life.
2. Combine Different Learning Styles
There are several different learning styles available, so why not combine them in order to make it easier for your student? For example, you can include visuals, which is what usually works best for the youngest students, and present important lessons through videos, images, infographics, and presentations. Even video games can be effective, when used in moderation, in order to get their attention and improve their focus.
3. Encourage Them to Ask Questions and Do Research
Help them develop a habit of asking questions if they need additional explanations. They shouldn't be embarrassed about it. Also, encourage them to do their own research on the subject and seek out additional bits of information. Instead of having them simply memorize the lessons, nurture their ability to think critically.
4. Have Them Work in Teams
Once they are finished with their education, students will be expected to work inside teams at their workplace. But, aside from preparing them for what lies ahead, teamwork has another benefit. It improves peer learning and helps them feel less isolated from one another. As a teacher, aim to choose apps and tools which are geared toward team collaboration.
5. Have Them Write Longhand
According to Emily Wilkinson, who is a senior editor for UK Essayontime, writing longhand activates certain areas of our brain, and as a result, children who write by hand will actually learn more than their peers who use their laptops to type.
6. Put an Emphasis on Reading
While videos and podcasts can engage your students, listening and viewing is a passive activity. Reading, on the other hand, forces them to activate their cognitive abilities and their imagination. Books are also great for helping them expand their vocabulary and hone their analytical skills.
7. Introduce Them to Different Learning Hacks
There are tons of methods out there which can help your students find the most relevant information out there while saving time in the process:
- Scanning the material which is too lengthy
- Writing down comments, ideas, and notes as they study
- Organizing lessons and topics into tables and charts
- Using flashcards, quizzes, and mind maps to review the lessons
- Writing summaries and using them to refresh their knowledge
8. Implement Spaced Learning
Spaced learning is a great way to help the children learn more while having fun and staying focused. Studying in shorter bursts, and doing other activities in between, is also perfect for helping them battle digital distractions.
9. Discourage Multitasking
Multitasking certainly has its benefits, but you shouldn’t allow your students to make it a part of the learning process. At a young age, they will have a hard time staying focused and prioritizing tasks, which is why it’s best to have them complete one task before starting with the next one.
10. Provide Better Assessment
Better assessment allows for both teachers and parents to exchange feedback and ideas. Also, you should create an environment where students are able to track, measure, and improve their progress. Once they know what they are good at, and what they need to improve, their education will become much more focused.
Modern technology has definitely found its way into every area of our lives, and that includes education. It is up to us as parents and teachers to make the most of it, especially when it comes to our children.