It is no question that we would be almost helpless without modern technology. Imagine a world without iPhones or cars, without our beloved headphones to accompany us on the ride home, or without our air-conditioning that makes the Singaporean humidity somewhat bearable. However, most parents fear the repercussions that come with such accessibility, such as decreased focus or internet addiction.
In spite of that, to completely disregard technology and their benefits might not be the best way to go. Thus, here are some ways in which technology might very well be the key to pushing your child towards success:
First off, make use of the vast library we have at our fingertips. The introduction of Google back in 1998 has since revolutionized the way the internet works. We need not elaborate on the way the popular search engine has since made our lives easier, however it should be noted that it is perhaps one of the most neglected tools when boosting one’s learning. Learning has become significantly easier when you have hundreds of teachers with you. One scientific equation has a dozen different explanations, all of which can be found on the net.
However, Google need not be your only friend when engaging in E-learning.
The introduction of smartphones has also made it easier to access certain websites and resources through our applications. Popular educational apps that can be found on the app store would include:
a. “BrainPOP featured movie”
Since its invention in 1999, Brainpop has since been a tool commonly used by teachers to explain certain educational concepts. Together with the cartoon characters Tim and Moby, a smart teenager and a quirky robot, Brainpop provides a visual representation of concepts that the classroom is not able to, and therefore helps provide students with a better understanding of their classroom concepts.
No, you didn’t read it wrong – Twitter can in fact be a very useful tool in learning. It provides its users with an array of information, all in 160 characters, and is a quick and effective method for students to gain access to today’s political happenings. By exposing them to world events, students are able to gain a better understanding of the world that we live in and help them to develop opinions on important matters. Here are some useful Twitter accounts that can be used to supplement learning:
@STCom – The Straits Times, the most reliable and up-to-date source of local news.
@TEDTalks – The official Twitter account for TED Talks, where keynote speakers introduce new ideas and share life experiences, providing exposure and fostering critical thought.
@oxfordwords – The Twitter account for the Oxford Dictionary. In addition to providing a Word of the Day, this account also posts useful and interesting articles about language and common errors in English usage.
Another tool that makes effective use of technology for learning is our proprietary application, Geniebook. Geniebook is able to keep track of your child’s progress through the use of questions that have been pre-tagged with important concepts. It is able to generate worksheets based on the student’s weaknesses and incorporates a reward system to get them motivated for the next test. With the ability for parents to track their child’s progress, along with a high degree of support from teachers, Geniebook serves as a great enabler for parents to play a more active role in their child’s learning.
Moving away from applications and internet platforms, traditional books and resources have also become significantly easier to find. Websites such as bookdepository.com and amazon.com hold a collection of books that are relevant to numerous subjects and concepts. Literature students can rejoice, as finding a companion guide to the exam text can be found with a click of the button. Even in Singapore, the National Library Board (NLB) has come up with the e-library program that allows members to borrow and rent books through our phones and tablets. With the increasing number of e-book readers and apps, reading could not get any easier.
Another point to note, is that technology might be helping your child improve their content focused researching ability. A study in 2012 has shown that video games and other screen media has shown to improve visual-spatial abilities as well as prolong attention and reaction time1. In other words, the use of video games may be helping children develop better awareness of their surroundings, as well as developing their ability to focus for longer periods of time – contrary to what many may say. In fact, many Singaporean pre-schools are starting to integrate technology into their curriculum as well.2
However, in spite of the abundance of benefits the internet brings, technology still exists as a double-edged sword. With the whole world available just a click away, it is very easy for children to be distracted from the important things at hand. As a result, the best concoction for success is an encouraged use of technology, accompanied with a side of supervision and guidance.
1 How Technology is Changing the Way Children Think and Focus. (n.d.). Retrieved May 10, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-power-prime/201212/how-technology-is-changing-the-way-children-think-and-focus
2 C. L. (2015, September 23). New tech-enabled toys for children in 160 preschools next year. Channel NewsAsia. Retrieved May 10, 2016, from http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/new-tech-enabled-toys-for/2145502.html