How to Organize a Child’s Interaction with Technology: Purpose
Here are some tips to help in determining a purpose for your child’s interaction with technology.
1. What do you want to achieve?
As mentioned before, when determining a goal, think about what you’d like your child to learn. Having a clear idea would help in determining what activities to choose on the tablet or laptop.
2. What does your child need?
Periodically take the time to think about what your child needs. If you notice that they excel in math, take the time to find activities in English and grammar. If they have a strong memory, why not focus on their listening skills? Working based on your child’s need will allow the interaction to be more fruitful.
3. What has your child already done?
A central technique when teaching is called scaffolding. This is the idea of building on what your child has learnt already, much in the same way a builder uses a scaffold to make a building higher. When determining your purpose, you could choose to improve an aspect that you’ve already worked on. This may be choosing a slightly harder math activity or building on a phonic sound already mastered.
4. Is there a skill that needs to be practiced?
Alternatively, if you feel that your child hasn’t quite mastered a skill, you could focus on choosing alternative activities to help your child. You could repeat this process until you feel your child has learned the skill.
5. What is your child’s learning style?
Learning style is a key factor in ensuring a learner’s success. Do you find that your child prefers to listen? Are they musical? Do they like moving objects around on a tablet? By determining these habits, you can ensure that you are using an activity that caters to your child’s learning style. They will enjoy the activity more. In addition, once you’ve determined your child’s primary learning style, you can have them work on the others, thereby teaching them to be well rounded.
6. Are they having fun?
For younger children especially, play-based learning and exploration is a sure fired way to get them engaged. It is important that they enjoy what they are doing to maintain their motivation. Thus, having a wide range of technological activities and rotating them can help when determining a particular focus for the interaction.
These six questions can help in determining your purpose for the technological interaction. If you like, you can also keep a log of your child’s progress in order to ensure that you are aware of the direction they are headed. One thing that should be mentioned however, is that once in a while, it’s okay NOT to have a purpose. Why not set aside some time for reward? Wherein your child gets to choose the activity they want to do? By balancing your time between focused technological interaction and rewards based, you are ensuring that your child keeps motivated and enjoys the valuable lessons you are passing on.
Primary School Educator
Perth, Western Australia