10 Essential Steps to Helping Children Learn Better in a Digital Environment
Contemporary IT devices and gadgets make our everyday lives much easier and more productive. However, it is still hard to evaluate the benefits that hi-tech brings to children and how it affects their self-development. Kids are prone to distractions and don't always use modern technologies to study and gain new knowledge. They play games and use social networks instead.
Since new technologies steadily penetrate all aspects of our lives, it is not the question whether to accept them in the field of education or not - the main issue is how to do it successfully. In such circumstances, teachers need to apply contemporary learning practices and get acquainted with new technologies. This is a highly sensitive process because teachers and pupils could face numerous problems:
- It’s a time-consuming task
- Technology is not supposed to replace interpersonal relations between the peers
- It can jeopardize the process of socialization and boost alienation among school kids
- IT devices rely on gamification elements, which could distort the children’s viewpoint concerning education in general
New technologies can obviously make a huge impact on education, so you need to use it correctly. Here’s how you can do that:
- Separate real life from IT fantasies
IT creates a special kind of virtual reality, which can make a real mess in the minds of young learners. Modern technology has the power to teach them many things and it can even contribute to better socialization but it’s not a substitute for the real world. Mary Beth Hertz, a tech teacher and a blogger at Edutopia, recently stated that school teachers need to find the right model to disperse knowledge and technology skills among their pupils.
- Embrace various styles of learning
With its enormous versatility, modern technologies have the power to boost all sorts of learning styles. At the same time, they can generate the best results in the fields of gaming and visualization, so you should adopt it to create interesting slides, presentations, and audio-video recordings. Even more, you can add video games to your educational practices to engage the kids even further.
- Teach children to solve problems
Contemporary education is all about efficiency and practical skills. In that regard, you should encourage pupils to explore different topics, ask direct questions, and search for concrete solutions. With all sorts of IT tools at your disposal, it will be rather easy for the kids to investigate and detect the best answers to their own inquiries.
- Promote teamwork
A lot of today’s employers demand creative individuals who can function in groups as well. Bearing this in mind, teachers should promote teamwork and let the children collaborate on many projects. Luckily enough, there are lots of collaboration tools and apps that can help you to encourage teamwork among students.
- Show them various learning models
The number of tools and learning models is almost endless nowadays. This is why you need to narrow down the choice for young learners and let them gain practical skills:
- How to skim textbooks
- How to write down short but efficient notes
- How to design simple but precise tables and graphics
- How to adopt mind-mapping skills with different apps
- How to analyze various information and more
- Practice spaced learning
The spaced learning technique enables your pupils to learn, comprehend, and remember difficult study materials. This method boosts memory and focus, which is perfect for the kids who are struggling to pay attention to the things coming out of the digital environment.
- Make them write by hand
Handwriting is an important precondition of intellectual development. When children write by hand, they think and act accordingly at the same time. This means that they actually pay attention to this activity as opposed to typing, where people make their moves mechanically.
- Stimulate reading
So far, scientists have not found a better way to stimulate human brain intellectually than through reading. Recorded audio and video clips can make students more interested but reading will make them more studious and analytical.
- No multitasking
To help children learn more efficiently and not disperse their attention, you should teach them to solve one task at the time. This will improve their concentration and enable them to complete duties on time and successfully. Avoid multitasking because it interferes with learning and encourages the children to do things superficially. Let them study in phases, keeping in mind that the gradual, step-by-step work, is the most productive learning method in a digital environment.
- Encourage communication
Teachers and pupils are not friends but you should try to approach them and establish a stronger bond based on trust and confidence. Let them learn from their own mistakes and show them how to practice objective assessments. If you teach the kids to exercise evidence-based thinking, they will become able to monitor their own work and progress over time.
Modern technologies are changing our lives in all sorts of ways and they are also reshaping our education systems. As a teacher, you need to get acquainted with the latest developments and accept the best methods and practices. It will enable you to prepare your students for real life much better.
Rachel Bartee is an ESL teacher and freelance writer at UK Essayontime who finds her passion in expressing own thoughts as a blogger. She is constantly looking for the ways to improve her skills and expertise. Talk to her on Facebook and Twitter.