Maintaining flexibility during uncertain times is the key to success. Educating children at home due to the quarantine-induced school closures has presented new challenges to many parents whose days rarely require them to play the role of teacher. In addition to a general attitude of taking things as they come, caregivers are now responsible for navigating complicated technologies to provide online education to their children.
So how, exactly, do parents go about educating children through global shelter-in mandates? It may not be as difficult as one might think.
Technology as a Tool
At any age, technology can be used as a useful tool for learning. Of course, there are many kinds of online tools, machines, and other forms of tech that exist to help children navigate a now-digital learning space. Those involved in educating children shouldn’t shy away from technology, but instead, embrace it as a tool in helping make learning happen.
It is crucial, however, to recognize that technology doesn’t replace the need for other types of learning tools, including one-on-one instruction. Overdoing technology (and focusing too much on screens in general) may hinder the learning process. Instead, look at technology as a great addition to the educational arsenal.
Focus on Quality
When an especially great tool can take the place of many others, one should focus on finding technologies that work the best. Focusing on learning that one tool well can help make relaying that knowledge to others much easier. Proper tech tools are usually accompanied by a plethora of tutorials and online support, which helps users navigate the ins and outs of a program and eliminating any confusion. Look for a tool that offers assistance in a multitude of ways.
A Combination Approach
Although technology is immensely useful, it is not the only thing that can be used to help educate children. Often, helpful tech tools also offer components beyond the tool itself, which may include things like live-streamed lectures or webinars, tutorial videos, and tutor or support chat functions. Find useful technologies that are multifaceted, providing children with additional resources to help them learn. Spending time familiarizing oneself with the myriad of ways a specific technology works can help students receive the proper guidance and instruction they need throughout the learning process.
Acknowledge Digital Distraction
Introducing advanced technology into the learning space is certainly beneficial, but it can also be a distraction for many students and educators, which is why it is important to recognize that technology must often be accompanied by limits. Establishing rules for utilizing technology early on and take extra steps as needed to ensure that technology serves a helpful, rather than harmful, role in education.
The Bottom line
Learning at home during unprecedented times can feel overwhelming, unnecessarily challenging, and overall difficult for young students and parents alike. Utilizing the right technology for students ensures they will develop a healthy relationship with technology that can lead to higher academic achievement, the development of real-world skills, and even an eventual career in a variety of STEM fields.
Take a look at how you can jump-start our children in any of these STEM careers with our comprehensive Autodesk Design Academy.