Your children are digital natives, and they’re fortunate to be growing up during a period of rapidly-advancing technology. For them, adopting new technology comes as naturally as breathing. A study conducted by British telecommunications regulator Ofcom involving 2,800 participants found that teens age 14-15 are the most tech-savvy, and 6-year-olds have a better grasp of communications technology than people over 45!
We’ve talked in the past about limiting screen time, but today we’re going to talk about how education technology tools enable students to use their screen time productively. Ed-tech tools give you the opportunity to use your children’s affinity for technology and aptitude with devices to promote their learning in fun new ways. Since technology is a real and growing part of our children’s lives, it’s important that they know how to use it for good!
As the summer winds down and you help your children prepare to go back to school, consider leveraging these powerful educational technology tools to support their educational experience:
Students of all ages can use Book Creator to produce digital books including text, images, video, and audio. Students can unlock their creative potential while putting together science reports, research projects, interactive creative writing, and more. For students who are visual learners, using the rich media available through this app to convey their understanding of text aligns perfectly with their learning style. They can also publish their finished product online to share with teachers, family, and their peers all over the world.
Epic! is a digital library for readers 12 and under. With a huge selection of reading material across genres including fiction, biography, graphic novels, and more, there’s sure to be something that will engage even the most reluctant reader. Unlimited, ad-free access is available for a low monthly subscription fee, and students can enjoy thousands of books and audiobooks on mobile devices any time, anywhere. We highly recommend this app for auditory learners!
Glogster is an online social media platform, but before you write it off on that basis, consider this: rather than posting on a friend’s wall, Glogster users communicate visually through the use of multi(digital)media posters that can include text, images, video, music, and even special effects. Users can explore and share glogs created by other users. Because content is user-generated, Glogster is recommended for users age 12+ with parental supervision.
Enhance arithmetic skills by combining numbers in different ways. Eighteen levels offer challenges for everyone from ages 4 to 40 while developing mental math agility. The ability to customize your fish with different fins and colors in a vibrant underwater world helps keep young learners excited and engaged.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: your child brings home a math assignment and they’re struggling with one of the problems. You want to help them, but it’s been a while since you’ve seen the topics they’re working on. Now you’re both stuck and getting frustrated, and tensions are escalating. Photomath solves this problem by solving the math problem. Simply download the free app, scan the math problem in question using your mobile device, and receive step-by-step animated directions for solving the problem. Some problems even offer different solution methods to choose from.
Students can create fun, easy-to-use, customizable test-prep tools using Quizlet. They can search through millions of materials already created or build their own (existing topics span all subjects from geography to biology to foreign language and everything in between). Even better, Quizlet reports that over 90% of students who use the app to study achieved higher test scores. For students in our ISEE Test Preparation programs, we have an exclusive Quizlet set of flashcards to build vocabulary for the exam.
Improve vocabulary skills via spelling, grammar, and word recognition games featuring a selection of grade-level vocab lists. Creating an account opens up the option to submit customizable word lists, including school spelling lists. For students who have had difficulty learning to read, building vocabulary is even more essential to support their growth. There’s even a testing feature so that engaging activities can be followed by a report so you can track your child’s progress.
Students can take their writing skills to the next level using Storybird, which offers writing prompts, challenges, quizzes, lessons, and video tutorials from professional authors and editors. Activities are labeled by grade level so students can easily find content suited to their level and interests. Students can also contribute their own creative writing and read stories posted by their peers.
This is just a small sample of the many wonderful educational technology tools available that you can leverage to help your children learn. While it is important to be aware of how much screen time children are spending, it’s also important to acknowledge the powerful positive impact technology can have on your children’s education, and to help guide them to digital resources like the ones we’ve shared. As families prepare for the busy back-to-school season, these educational technology tools can bolster students’ confidence and get them ready – and even excited – to get back in the classroom.
About the Author
Megan Trezza, M.Ed. is the founder and CEO of La Jolla LearningWorks, a private learning center based in La Jolla, California, that focuses on individualized 1:1 educational coaching to bring each student to his or her full achievement potential. As an educational therapist, she believes that all students can learn with the right approach. In 2009, Megan created La Jolla LearningWorks as a space where different learners can receive the personal attention they need to discover their capability to become successful learners. Please reply here to connect with Megan or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LaJollaLearningWorks