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Don’t limit a child to your own learning, for he was born in another time – Rabindranath Tagore
This quote perfectly depicts the situation in modern education and parenthood today. It seems that we are working so hard to fight the changes around us, instead of embracing them and finding a way to use them to help our children make progress. Mobile technologies and video games do not have to be the “bad guy” of children’s growing up process, on the contrary. If used properly, with adequate consideration of the specifics of a child’s mind and the skills that should be developed, these technologies can only be helpful. Let us see how they can improve education.
The Change in the Classroom
The traditional classroom was based on one-way teacher-students communication, without any consideration about each child’s individual pace. Nowadays, not only learning is made fun by implementing new technologies, but also kids are allowed to adopt new knowledge in their own pace.
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Some of the video games made specifically for schools provide challenges and offer rewards based on accomplishments. This keeps the kids motivated and improves their performance and engagement. Also a 2009 study done by American Psychiatric Association (APA), suggested that playing video games can increase the ability to focus in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.
Impacting Specific Skills
Videogames and mobile technologies can be used to improve certain skills in kids, and serve as a specific sort of brain training, enhancing the kid’s spatial intelligence, math skills, language, reading, perception, reasoning, etc. In some schools children are even learning the skill of the present and future – coding, through video games. Other games like MinecraftEdu, allow students to explore and learn leadership, cooperation and empathy.
Improving the Comprehension of Social Sciences
Social sciences, such as demography, human geography, sociology, economics, political science, anthropology, psychology and history, are sometimes difficult for kids to understand. Videogames find fun ways to bring those topics closer to young minds and reveal a whole new world to them.
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In fact, more and more teachers and professional educators are involving in developing such games, so it should not come as a surprise that games like Cryptids have mythological elements. Teenagers, on the other side, can discover a lot of historical facts and political processes in games, such as Civilization.
Maximizing Learning with Technology
It is clear that the benefits of the technologies in education should not be ignored any longer, and that they should be used for helping kids reach better academic success and gain an improved set of skills, that will help them throughout their lives. Implementing such novelties in the traditional education might be difficult, but it is not impossible.
The important thing is not to exclude them all together, but also not to focus your attention only to them. The discussions surrounding the games and technologies are the key of combining these approaches.
Creating a Safe Environment
With the development of technologies kids have really got a sense of ownership and control over their education, which means that they are more engaged in using them. This further lead to self-paced learning which gives kids the confidence to explore by themselves, which is a good thing, but only in a safe environment.
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With all the dangers lurking in the uncontrolled World Wide Web, teaching kids about the internet safety should be an important obligation for both parents and teachers. Only when you are sure a child understands the way internet should be used, you can leave it to explore and research individually.
Instead of avoiding technologies and marking them as bad for our children, we should be finding the ways how to use them for good purposes and help our children thrive in the time they are born into.