The world is changing and it's changing so fast! Due to the global health crisis, the adoption of digital technologies has speeded and has forever changed our way of life. E-learning or online schooling where education is done remotely and through digital platforms is at an all-time high. According to UNICEF, 90% of the countries adopted digital and/or broadcast remote learning policies.
This means that despite the warnings about the dangers of the internet, our current situation calls for the need for us to increase our technological know-how. We can't avoid or refrain our children from using the computer as they need to develop their skills and keep up with the emerging technologies and the changing world. It is imperative for parents and guardians to find the balance between internet usage vis-a-vis the dangers of the internet and the health hazards of prolonged computer usage.
Here are 3 tips on how you can create a positive and educational online experience for kids:
1. Choose the Right Content and Safe Programs
The internet has a mix of both good and bad content where innocent searches online can sometimes lead to not-so-innocent results thus, the Children’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health Service suggest that parents or guardians should maximize the use of built-in safety tools such as parental controls, safe browsing settings, and internet filters. Though it does not guarantee 100% results, it still helps prevent your children from seeing inappropriate content.
2. Integrate Online Gaming and Education
The recent study conducted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) discussed the educational value of video games and how they have helped in developing creativity, cooperative learning, and abilities to solve problems. This encourages individuals to embrace the value of video gaming. Instead of immediately decreasing the screen time of our children, you might as well use this opportunity to provide a fun and educational experience for them.
In-browser gaming websites such plays.org where you don't need to download any software/apps and do not offer in-game purchases or upgrades are readily available online.
3. Explore the Benefits of the Internet and Develop Relevant Computer Skills
Digital and computer skills are non-negotiable. If you look back 10-15 years ago, having computer skills is an advantage. Today, it is an absolute must-have. They are now considered a skill just like reading and writing. Thus, it is important that we teach our children basic computer skills as early as we could. The more comfortable our children are with technology today, the better equipped they are to face the exciting opportunities they will face in the future.
Through your guidance, allow your children to explore the internet and help them understand how to use emerging technologies as a key advantage.
- Develop his or her online research skills through a scavenger hunt game.
- Give them opportunities to solve problems and collaborate on projects
- Bring ideas to life. There are many videos and graphic software websites that are user-friendly.
- Help them build digital resilience. Empower them to make the right choices and have the confidence to skip or hover over content that they may consider harmful to them.