It’s safe to say that we can’t distance ourselves from technology and truthfully, neither can our kids. Our ever-connected world means that my two year old daughter knows exactly how to use my smartphone and my son is often the one teaching me new stuff on our devices.
The technology topic is a difficult and often uncomfortable one for us as parents, making it easier for us to just shut down and not embrace it. I think this is largely because the dangers of children using technology are highlighted and spoken about, more than the benefits.
One of the areas where we can see technology benefiting and enhancing our children’s skills, is in the educational space. Digital literacy is starting to play a bigger role in defining a child’s ability to succeed, both in school and throughout their lives.
This year, Lesedi has had to present numerous projects where all the information had to be researched and typed-up and I have personally lost count of how many times I’ve relied on Google and YouTube to help me, help him with his homework.
So what does that mean for me and potentially for you?
It means that as parents, we can’t just leave it up to our schools to teach our children these skills – we can and should be proactive at home too and over the next few months, I’ll be sharing exactly how we can do this safely and practically.
There many positive ways that technology can help us and our children, provided that we use it responsibly. It is not there to replace the fundamentals, like reading, writing and working with others, but rather to support and enhance the learning. Where Lesedi’s projects are concerned, he has to:
- Read and establish an understanding of the project brief
- Go out to find information online
- Use the information to create a project, which will address the brief according to his own understanding and creativity and
- Reference appropriately
You can see in this example that he still has to apply his mind to every stage of the project creation, busting the myth that digital literacy will make our children lazier.
Digital learning and literacy can:
- Enhance what is taught in the classroom – we use videos to break down complicated subjects like NST (Natural Science and Technology, in our day it was known as Science).
- Make learning more accessible, because you can learn anywhere, anytime – using your smart phone, desktop or tablet.
- Support traditional education and fundamental skills by introducing active and engaging learning activities across all grades.
- Provide endless tools for educational purposes – digital tools such as revision and evaluation exercises can help your child test their knowledge before tests and exams.
The truth is that children are fascinated by technology, so when they learn through technology, it’s equal parts entertainment and education. This also provides us with the opportunity to teach them the skills that they will need to thrive in the digital world of the future.
Lesedi and I will be on a journey to explore the world of digital literacy through Vodacom e-School – Vodacom’s curriculum-aligned digital education portal.
Throughout this journey with you – my aim is to make you as a parent, feel more secure, comfortable and knowledgeable about how you can best support your child’s education, using digital technology.
To find out more about Vodacom e-school please click here