Technology has transformed the way that students learn – inside of the classroom and out. Between online lessons and homework-help apps, technology has provided students with an endless amount of support in mastering any subject at school. However, it is important for parents to ensure that students are utilizing the best tools in technology and are maintaining a healthy balance when it comes to using technology throughout the school year.
Carve out a Designated ‘Tech-Time’ – In order to maintain a healthy balance in the use of technology at home, parents should carve out a chunk of time for their student to focus only on using homework-help apps, completing online lessons and using any other tech tools for school. It is important to set limits, and ensure that your student is not spending an unnecessary amount of time on computers or tablets – even if it is for academic purposes.
Find out What is Necessary – There is an app for everything, but that does not mean you need to use every one. Teachers often assign online lessons or recommend apps for students to use at home but aside from those, it is up to parents to decide what tech tool is worth using. Every application or online tool should work to strengthen a student’s knowledge of an academic subject. To ensure this, parents should assess each tech tool, and the role that it can play in helping their student achieve his/her academic goals. Parents can also ask teachers and tutors for advice on what works and what does not.
Keep Technology Out in the Open – While technology can serve as a great tool for learning, it can also be a major source of distraction. It is easy for a student to switch from a homework-help app to a game or social media. To make sure that your student is using technology to complete schoolwork, have your student complete such work in an area where parents can easily monitor his/her progress. This process can include reviewing completed work on a computer or iPad throughout a study session.
Minimize Tech Distractions – As mentioned before, technology can easily distract any student. In order to prevent your student from becoming distracted when using technology for school, parents should ensure that social media, games or other forms of tech entertainment do not interfere with their student’s study session. This can be done by turning off social media notifications, news alerts, game updates and by placing text messages on ‘do not disturb’ mode. Additionally, parents can also enable parental control on tech devices to be sure that their student is only utilizing educational tech tools while studying.
Actively Engage When it Comes To Technology Use – In order to be sure that your student is using technology to his or her advantage, parents should be knowledgeable when it comes to the tech tools that their student is using for school. Discuss the different educational tools and apps that your student is currently using. Ask your student about the way it works, the academic subject that it is being used for and how it is benefitting his or her progress in that area. By being actively engaged, parents will be able to see whether a homework-help app or an online lesson is truly working for their student, or whether changes need to made.
Frank Milner is the President of Tutor Doctor, a worldwide in-home tutoring company catering to children and adults of nearly all ages. A published author with over a decade of experience in the tutoring industry, Milner has played an integral role in observing and implimenting effective teaching methods tailored to every child's personal learning needs.