Every school year, more schools seem to pick up tablets and applications instead of textbooks. Governments, textbook publishers and tech industry giants like Apple and Samsung are banding together to provide a great experience for our kids, with always up-to-date materials and interactive experiences to teach children and teens. This isn’t limited to American High Schools either, it’s happening worldwide for younger and younger kids!
It’s a money saver for schools, it’s cooler for kids, and parents are quickly becoming comfortable with it as they get used to seeing tablets in other businesses, services, and even their cars. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day, kindergartens will be equipped with touch screens.
Your kids will probably encounter tablets in their education and almost certainly in their workplace in 10 to 20 years. How can you prepare them for that future?
Given the choice, kids will pick movies and games 100% of the time over something that’s purely educational. Of course, they would, I do too! Even as I write this article there’s a movie playing in the background and a game of Dragons of Berk running on the tablet next to me. Yeah, I’m addicted.
The easiest way to prevent the distraction is to remove it.
You’re the best person to know how your child learns, but you can teach logic, language, and mathematics though fun apps that they’ll want to play. Disguising learning as fun? Yes, you can say it: I’m a genius! If you said it, thanks for that, but I’m not the first one to think of this. Studies show that kids learn through play and this kind of play is one that I feel comfortable promoting.
To be honest, this is where technology can excel. Even non-educational games have some benefits on their own, beyond the typical gamer mantra “It makes my reflexes better!” Laparoscopic specialists (surgeons specializing in tiny incision surgeries) who are gamers were found to be 32% more accurate than non-gamers. As a parent, I want my kids to be the best surgeon possible, but I doubt I should be spending their college fund on Zelda games.
You could give your children an expensive shopping list of equipment and programs in order to accomplish this but, since we’re talking about tablets I’m guessing you have one already, you can also do it for a mere $23 using an app called “Codea”. It has everything you need to begin, has a few examples of what they’ve created and uses a real scripting language, one that I’ve used in a professional workplace to create a game!
Tablets are powerful tools for creating, not just entertainment. Kids, both big and little, can get something positive out of the screen time that you give them… if you set them up for it!
How have you used tablets to improve your kids’ future? We’d love to hear from you. Share your comments in the ‘Leave a reply’ section below.