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Kim Cofino

Sep 19, 2018

Parents

Understanding the New Learning Landscape

Learning looks different than when we were students. Technology is now front and center of your child’s learning, especially if their school has transitioned to a one device per student (often written 1:1, and also called “one to one”) model.

As parents, it can be difficult to know what our children are doing when they’re on their devices when they come home from school. Are they doing homework, or are they just playing games?

While you may think that your child is not learning when they’re playing a game, studies show that the opposite is true. Video games like Minecraft are actually teaching kids how to read, as Clive Thompson explains in this Wired article. “Minecraft is surrounded by a culture of literacy. The game comes with minimal instructions or tutorials, so new players immediately set about hunting for info on how it works.” These video games are showing improvement in writing skills too, as kids contribute to game sites and discussions online.

Your child is likely learning digital literacy and empathy in the classroom, but those lessons should continue at home. We can continue these lessons by equipping them with digital intelligence. Digital intelligence is the “set of social, emotional, and cognitive abilities that enable individuals to face the challenges and adapt to the demands of digital life.” These digital skills can be translated into in-person scenarios but will help them be masters of technology, rather than technology being their masters.

The best way to learn more about the technology that your child is using is to keep communicating. While technology is a tough topic to talk about, especially with teens, it is a large part of our lives. Learning smart habits about technology use now will help children as they grow up and self-monitor themselves.

Parenting in the digital age is hard. New apps, new games, and new information seem to come out every day, and our children are picking it all up so much faster than the adults around them. Although the tools might be changing faster than we can keep up with, the most critical things for parents to know about technology hasn’t changed much at all.

Are you struggling with setting screen time limits with your child? Is your family having a difficult time managing the many devices in your home? What if you could balance your family’s digital life in 6 weeks? We know how challenging it can be to find time to figure out how to make sense of all the technology children are using. We wrote a free 6-week email series called #HeyLookUp to help you make sense of it all! Learn more about #HeyLookUp and sign up to receive the emails here.

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