Technology, the boon and the bane, has been often criticized for corrupting and decaying the current generation. One often hears terms like ‘kids have become zombies with mobile phones and tablets.’
While this may be true to some extent, we have become very myopic with our definition of technology being often broadly limited to social media, games and the use of mobile phones and laptops. There are always 2 sides to every coin. Like it or not, technology is here to stay. There’s no wishing it away. In fact, it is moving at a far more rapid pace than we can keep up with.
In such times, what is the best we can do, given our current situation?
Here are a few actual USES of technology, some of which can provide vital skills to our children in the future.
Being in touch, overcoming geographical distances:;This one is unarguably a boon of technology. From the days of one landline and trunk calls, today we can connect to any of our relatives at one tap. With the digital growth, we have also become part of a reality where due to various reasons, we are not as close (geographically) as we used to be with our immediate family and extended relatives. To foster that feeling again, technology (video calls, phone calls) can be a boon. Just a few basic secure apps, with a limited number of contacts, can allow the child the freedom to be in touch with their cousins and uncles and aunts – and most importantly, grandparents.
Exercising the mind:;Yes, you read that right. The word games, puzzles, logic and reasoning based games are ALSO available online. One does not have to associate ‘Gaming’ with just PUBG and Candy Crush. There are a plethora of content providers and game creators that provide good, engaging, clean games that help exercise the mind and improve skills.
Expressing Creativity: While the right brain is taken care of, there are quite a few tools that help express the creative left brain too. Apps or devices, that allow the child to draw, paint, make movies, make notes with voices and exercise these options help the child relax and focus on other tasks as well.
Using apps for academics and research:;A lot of schools now send the ‘home-work’ via apps. There are assignments, exam preparations, study tips and even submission of work available using apps. At such times, one cannot shy away from technology and definitely a basic understanding of how to use devices and how not to misuse them goes a long way in helping children cope up with such needs for academics.
Learning new skills, being future proof:;We, as parents, take a lot of effort trying to pick the right school for our children. But there are always many avenues that go beyond just traditional education in the school premises. There are many courses that children can learn online, which the child may be interested in or are not entirely part of the school curriculum and can prove to be useful in the future. This information is often easier accessed online when there aren’t enough tutors for the same locally.
Smart Wearables:;For children of all age groups there are quite a few devices, especially wearables that can prove to be useful and informative. From basic fitness trackers to GPS enabled smartwatches that help the parents communicate and monitor the child’s condition, these tools of technology, in fact, add a layer of security and safety.
Become responsible digital citizens: Lastly and most importantly, just like civic sense is important, there are some basic etiquettes, some roles & responsibilities of being a digital citizen (or a;netizen;as it is often referred to). The right training from an early age can help develop a safer and more productive future of technology. We must teach our children to be netizens that “respect, educate and protect” while they are online.
While these are just some useful tips that can help harness technology better, it is always to be remembered, that technology is a double-edged sword. At no point of time, must we, as parents, let our guard down and allow unrestricted, unsupervised use of these devices. Neither should these be used as substitutes to good parenting and actual parent-child interaction and education. At the end of the day, there really isn’t anything quite human as… well … human! #digitalclassroom #empoweringkids #technology #digitalage #magicofmom #bbcrratorsclub #khusboochouhan