The way of the world, these days, is most definitely one of technology and there is always an app for everything, don’t you find? Even during the most innocent of conversations you can guarantee that someone will mention a brilliant app they found and before you know it, you are installing it on your device or computer.
How does this affect our children though? After all, they are growing up with this technology around them; it is second nature to them and their day-to-day lives - they know no different. Where once a school might have had the use of three or four desktop computers to share, now it’s not rare to see classrooms with access to several laptops and iPads.
Of course, this can really benefit your child’s education and ability to learn -www.parentmail.co.uk, for example, have introduced teaching apps and a homework tracker to help pupils, parents and teachers interact and communicate over tasks and assignments.
There are a host of really useful apps around too, which are easily accessible for pupils. One of the most recognised apps out there is Word Wonderland, which commanded a five star rating on the website Best Apps for Kids. It’s a game designed to help children aged 4-8 years of age to practice their basic phonics skills. Students can practice long and short vowels, digraphs, dipthongs and many more word sorting exercises.
Maths is a real challenge for many pupils, so the good news is that there’s an absolute wealth of apps available to help solve the toughest of homework assignments. Earlier this year, this article by Tech Advisor revealed the best maths iPhone, iPad and Android apps for children. These range from Number Monster, a simple app that teaches young children to recognise numbers from 1-20, to three apps which were devised by London teacher Christopher Thorne. Mr Thorne’s Times Table Terra, Mr Thorne’s Divide + Conquer and Mr Thorne’s Addition Space Station each have three different difficulty levels, going up to World Class/Legend – so parents can get involved, too.
But although apps can totally transform the ways in which students can tackle their homework, it’s important that parents don’t overlook the importance of creating the perfect studying environment. Children need calm, quiet spaces in order to concentrate on their work so consider a special work area where they can sit and study, feeling inspired and not distracted by TV and toys.
The idea of a desk underneath a window, benefiting from lots of natural light, can set the perfect backdrop. If you have the use of a mobile device or a family computer, make sure it is safe for your child to browse the internet; you should consider installing some age appropriate settings and parental controls, just in case. If your child is beginning to use social media, take some time to read up on advice guidelines to keep them safe and secure.
There’s no doubt that schools are becoming more internet based, with cloud technologies more prevalent, and the potential that comes along with technology is something we have to embrace and be prepared for.