Sponsor Content

Five Ways to Turn Your Child’s Tech Time Into Learning Time

Photo Credit: Episcopal Academy

Many parents struggle with the question of how much screen time is appropriate. But what if you approached tech time from a different perspective? It’s proven that leaning into a child’s affinity for smart tech can actually help improve their smarts in the classroom.

However, experts often caution parents to not simply download some applications and hand over a device. “Tablets and other smart devices are great tools, but they must be used with a parent or teacher in order to gain the most educational value out of those tools,” explained Christian Cloud, Lower School Technology Coordinator at The Episcopal Academy.

Here are 5 ways to work with your child to turn tech time into learning time at home. All you will need is a tablet or smartphone to get started.

Go on an alphabet scavenger hunt – Kids love taking photos with smart devices, so why not create an educational scavenger hunt? Mr. Cloud suggests going on a walk around your neighborhood or house and looking for objects that start with different letters of the alphabet. When you find something, have your child take a photo of the object. After, you can sit and review the photos and the letters each object starts with to help improve literacy skills. The exercise you get on your walk is an added bonus!

Use reliable educational apps that offer interactive learning – With the daily advent of new apps and collaborative work environments, tech-based learning is constantly evolving. Today’s hit app could be tomorrow’s old fad, so you might need to research regularly to find the best learning tools. Common Sense Media is a great resource to help evaluate the effectiveness and reliability of emerging apps and other media. Some of our current favorite learning apps are Letter Quiz, Monkey Junior, and PBS Kids apps.

Turn your device into a library – Instead of buying books, leverage your smart device for the at-home reading time. Epic! is a leading digital library for kids 12 and under. For a few dollars a month, your family can access more than 25,000 books, learning videos, quizzes, and more. It’s like having your own library right in the living room.

Find coding-based activities – School curriculum has evolved to support the development of critical skills that will be necessary in today’s digital world. Coding is integrated into many lessons to help children as young as pre-kindergarteners to begin to “think in code.” You can help reinforce these lessons at home by using activities found on sites like Kodable and Tynker. As your children get a little older (ages 9-13), Hopscotch is a great program that allows kids to design their own games, graphics, and animations.

Learn about digital citizenship – It is important to talk about digital safety and citizenship. Sometimes it is a challenge to even know where to start or how to best talk about these topics. In collaboration with online safety experts, Google created its Be Internet Awesome program to help parents and educators with this crucial task. The program offers a variety of tools and resources, including Interland, an online adventure for children that puts key lessons of digital safety into hands-on practice with challenging games.

At The Episcopal Academy, students of every age are given the opportunity to learn and master cutting-edge technology tools and skills in preparation for the careers of tomorrow. Schedule a visit to learn more, meet the dedicated technology coordinators, and tour the Lower School’s IDEA Studio, a space dedicated to innovation, coding, and design thinking.