Technology in the classroom is quickly becoming the norm in educating students, and there is little question that its role in education will only continue to grow. But what about all of the great technology students have at home? What role can home technology play in encouraging students to become active learners?
Digital natives will be exposed to technology throughout their lives. Just as we might have been encouraged to watch Sesame Street at a young age to stimulate a desire to learn, today’s children have to be engaged with the new digital medium.
Here are a few tips for parents to assist in cultivating active learners at home:
- Adopt a “tech pyramid” approach. Just like a food pyramid that has fruits, vegetables and grains at the bottom, a home tech pyramid should have educational and enriching material as its base. At the opposite, “use sparingly,” end of the pyramid, there is material that is strictly used for entertainment.
- Don’t set strict time limits. A natural reaction to screen brain-drain might be to limit the time spent in front of an iPad or laptop. That isn’t necessarily the best plan, though. According to this article in the Chicago Tribune by Heidi Stevens, as long as the time spent with a device is enriching and valuable, there isn’t a compelling reason to put it away.
- Tie the learning experience to the classroom. To reinforce the material being taught in the classroom, parents should stay close to what’s going on with their student’s teacher and respond accordingly. By keeping a home’s virtual classroom in sync with the physical classroom, the student will be much more likely to be engaged in learning activities – similar to the idea of a “flipped classroom,” where students receive course instruction at home and work on assignments at school.
- Start being an “active” parent at an early age.Today’s children will represent the most technologically engaged generation yet. This means that the role of the “active learning” parent is more important now than any previous generation. Get started early (even if you’re a technophobe), you have great tools at your disposal to start this process.