Technology is everywhere – from farms embracing autonomous robots to Tesla and others creating self-driving cars. But at home is where we’ve seen some of the largest technology growth with teens now spending a whopping nine hours a day on their smartphones. Simply put, tech is everywhere and it isn’t going away.
However, it isn’t so much the technology itself that matters, but how you use it. Tech can create distractions, but tech also provides productivity benefits, both in work and education. By using the modern world to your advantage, it’s possible to turn tech into a learning opportunity for kids of all ages.
Find the Right Apps
No matter what you want to learn, “there’s an app for that” and the Richmond area is a hotbed for tech startups. Apps from these brand new tech companies are intuitive, instantly accessible and fun. They take a subject and turn it into a game with points and rewards. Whether you want to track fitness, learn a foreign language, or anything in between, an app is available to help. To get you started, be sure to take a look at Richmond Mom’s Guide to Family Apps and Websites No Parent Should Be Without.
Allow your children screen time on the condition that they download and use these apps. You will find they experience increased motivation to learn and improved outcomes.
Set Aside Educational TV Time
While we’re constantly reminded that too much screen time can have negative effects, some screen time can be beneficial. Sitting in front of the screen can offer valuable rest time, can lower stress as effectively as meditation, and can be informative.
Pick out a few documentaries to stream on your home television set. Using a smart TV will allow you to pick and choose the best material, while a high-quality image will be more likely to hold a child’s attention. You will need to find a balance between the learner’s tastes and interests, but anything from news shows and debates to Dora the Explorer can offer educational benefits for the whole family.
Bring in Virtual Reality
Richmond offers a number of unique opportunities to experience virtual reality. For example, Uptown Alley is a tech bowling lounge, fusing entertainment and state-of-the-art technology. Recently, they invested in futuristic Virtual Reality (VR) headsets. VR experiences – from the likes of Samsung, HTC, and Sony – offer the opportunity to experience places and events that may not be possible in real life. Other VR opportunities in Richmond can be found at Thunderbolt Indoor Karting, Warehouse 29 Escape Room, and River City VR to name a few.
Whether you want to educate a student on the origins of Buddhism in the foothills of the Himalayas or teach physics by witnessing a supernova first-hand, VR can allow this to happen.
Technology speeds up learning and makes it exciting. Your job as a parent, caregiver, or educator is to utilize its capabilities to your advantage. Anything from a simple free app to a virtual reality experience can stimulate a child’s imagination and spark their love for learning as long as you learn to make the most of its many benefits.
This article was provided by guest contributor, Karoline Gore.