Using Digital Media Wisely for Children’s Academics
Created by Yoo-Young Kim Updated on Oct 18, 2018
Many parents, like myself, have studied in the traditional pencil-and-paper mode at school with didactic teaching. The only activity that students were required to do in class was to follow the teacher with eyes and with a pencil on the textbook.
Now, the school is changing. It is becoming not only more child-centered and interactive, but also tech-savvy; schools are bringing in smart boards, touch-screens, tablets and PCs as a way of being ‘innovative’ and ‘tech-smart’ in the increasingly more digital world.
With smartboards, a child can learn about a frog’s life cycle by watching a lively video a teacher prepared, instead of just listening to the teacher explain in words. Moreover, a student can come up to the board to touch the screen and move a block around to get the correct answer. The classroom is already changing and so are our children.
How can parents use digital media for their child's academics?
1. Raising Kids who Like to Read
The right amount of digital media can actually help children love reading.
A research conducted in South Korea on groups of children on their digital media use and motivation to read found that children who use limited amount of digital media had higher confidence level, motivation and ability to read than those who did not use digital media at all.
Dr. Deborah Linbarger also found that children, especially boys, tend to develop fondness of reading when they watch a video with subtitles than those who do not. Taking away digital media altogether may not lead to children liking to read more books.
- Do not fear but allow children to watch, especially when watch videos with words on the screen
- Encourage children to read storybooks on digital media
- Remember to moderate the use (Too much of anything is always harmful)
2. Raising Kids who Know How to Self-control
Patience is virtue, especially when kids need to sit down and study for tests as they enter school. It is possible for digital media help raise children’s patience level and form good habits.
- Pick the right content
Contents like Sesame Street includes children’s character building. For example, the video of Cookie Monster waiting on the cookies with a song, found children being able to wait longer for gratification than those who did not watch it.
It is important to choose contents that contain good stories. I recommend Sesame Street, Veggie Tales, and any videos made by PBS Kids.
- Form good digital use habits early on
It is great if your child is already habituated in limited use of digital media. But if not, there are apps available that help children moderate the use of digital contents on their own, with little bit of control of parents. For example, Odinga helps children finish the smartphone without temper tantrums because of the fun ending game that helps children relieve the stress of stopping something that they like. In addition, there is a Toolkit in which cute stickers and Good Habit Board is included so parents can encourage forming good habits in children easily.
About the Author: Yoo-Young has studied Educational Psychology at Harvard Graduate School of Education (M. Ed) and worked with children at an international school. Now she is researching and planning talks on children’s tech use and parental control app ‘Odinga’ at a Korean Ed. Tech The Plan G.
| Nov 02, 2018
We Parents are already caught up in this dilemma of deciding whether Digital Media is good for our kids or not. I think sometimes its good as the kind of content that is available in the market these days is quite good. For ex: I am really impressed with a website called GetLitt(https://www.getlitt.co/), as there are a lot of stories which were not there in our time and the old stories are also narrated in a much better way. A must recommendation for all the Parents out there!