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Navigating the Digital Age

education_technologyParents and even teachers have quite the learning curve when it comes to technology. Our “tech savvy” youth always seem to be one step ahead when it comes to the latest trend in technology, so it is especially important to stay educated about what’s out there today and how it can be used. Technology in education only continues to grow in existence and advance. Therefore, we all need to learn how to use it safely and effectively. Here are some helpful tips about navigating the digital age of education.

  1. Know your schools policies: Many schools are integrating technology into the everyday classroom culture. Some schools allow iPads, lap tops and even cell phones to be used during the day. It is important for parents and students to know for what and when it is acceptable to use these devices throughout the day. This will help to set clear expectations and to avoid discipline issues.
  2. Safety first: It is everyone’s responsibility to keep our kids safe while they are using the internet. Students need to know what defines appropriate and inappropriate internet etiquette. Parents should discuss with their children the risks involved with online navigation. They should also discuss the possible consequences of the things they post online.
  3. Put safe guards in place: Make sure that you know what your students are doing online. There is a lot of great software that can help to monitor and protect our youth’s internet use. Ensure that students know these safeguards are in place and that it is there for their protection. The old rule of thumb for safety was to keep the family computer in a central location. However, with the invention of cell phones and tablets, this has become almost impossible. Talk with your students or children so that they know the expectations as well as the consequences.
  4. Technology can keep us organized: It is now possible to carry all of our essential information with us. Schedules, contacts, reminders and information. Teaching students how to use technology to organize their daily lives is important. By simply setting reminders in their smart phones, students can remember upcoming tests, homework assignments and projects. They can email their teachers and coaches with questions at all times of the day, and they can search for answers to difficult homework questions whenever needed.
  5. Technology enhances learning: There is no way of getting around it. We live in a continuously advancing digital world. Technology is constantly impacting education. Answers are at our student’s fingertips and boundaries to learning have been removed. Reading blogs that students find interesting is still reading. Skyping with people in other countries helps with language learning and connects us with other cultures. Not to mention that there is an app for just about everything. Students can practice spelling, math, reading, geography etc. on their smart phones in a fun and interactive way whenever they have down time.

The possibilities are endless for how technology can enhance learning. It is up to us as parents and teachers to set our students up for success and to guide them along the way. If we are going to be able to provide that support and guidance, we need to take the time to learn how to do that successfully. Contact us to learn more about how Sylvan can help prepare students for digital learning.