Technology is now being used in schools, and kids can benefit immensely from well-thought-out and carefully planned educational programs that use various forms. However, this technology should be used to help kids and not harm them. Parents and educators should monitor how much time children and teens are investing in these internet programs, computer/video games, social media platforms, and television watching.
Digital Risks for Kids
More children have technological devices at home and at school, or even on the go, that connect to the internet posing its own new challenges. These include online predator access, online bullying, and the loss of real face-to-face relationship skills. Most teens now have their own cell phones, laptops and other devices on which they access social media platforms to communicate with friends. Even younger children can be at risk, and some kids use their friend’s devices or circumvent parental controls. Parents and teachers should open communication with children about the dangers of certain online social media sites, use parental controls, encourage in-person relationship interactions and have rules in place for safe use.
Educational television programs can be informative and help kids learn more about a variety of topics. Too much television, high-pressure marketing ads directed towards kids and the wrong shows can encourage negative behaviors and deter healthy living habits like nutritious meals, regular exercise, and outdoor play. Ads on sports shows are harming kids when it encourages bad habits. Parents should watch TV with their kids, and hold conversations on negative marketing, limit television time and demonstrate proper role modeling to avoid bad effects.
According to Pepperdine School of Education and Psychology, the 1990s built the foundation for educational computer games, and things have developed from there. Now, many schools utilize gamification to provide better educational opportunities for students that encourages deeper emotional connections and greater interactive responses. While gamification technologies, like fun computer learning games, can increase student enjoyment and give teachers new methods for beneficial educational opportunities not otherwise available, moderation is key with careful assessment of student responses.
Parents and educators should stay informed about the pros and cons of what types of technologies kids are using and being exposed to on a day-to-day basis. With appropriate technology device supervision, technology opens up a wider array of exciting and helpful learning opportunities for kids.
Interested in more technology-related reading? Take a look at these articles:
- Top 10 Emerging Technologies That Will Dominate in the Next 5-10 Years
- 5 Kinds of Smart Technology to Incorporate in Your Next Remodel
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