Screen time has big potential for children’s learning when using the best resources. Screen time virtually saved the school year during shut downs, and parents have had front row seats to the great many benefits it can afford their children. The educational experts at Smart Bubblegum have outlined FIVE of the greatest advantages that digital media and “screen time” have brought in recent years…
- Course Materials are Now Often Found Online: While children are back in classrooms, their teachers now often offer an added digital layer to reinforce their lessons. From video lessons and accessibility through email for questions to online textbooks and downloadable materials, kids today have greater access to a more robust hybrid in school-online classroom experience.
- Access to Tutors has Grown Exponentially: The internet offers a mixture of tutoring programs – granting your child access to tutors virtually 24-7. If they are struggling in a subject, you could take the time to research the best program to help them.
- Access to Research has Virtually Exploded: Kids today have access to research in the digital landscape – including everything from surveys and studies to professional resources and online encyclopedias. The fact that they can do this research in the comfort of their own home at just about any time of day helps lower the stress of their assignment. A note of warning before you give your child unlimited access to the internet: parental control – safe surfing programs are a wise investment to ensure your child doesn’t stumble onto any unsuitable websites.
- Virtual Study Groups Build a Sense of Community: The introduction of video chat into the educational realm has changed education on many fronts. One that has had real staying power is the growth of virtual study groups, where students can meetup online to discuss upcoming assignments and study together leading up to a quiz or test – just as they would in an in-person setting. Kids who fully comprehend the materials can help guide others to a greater understanding.
- Just Because They’re Smiling Doesn’t Mean They’re Not Learning: One of the most important lessons we can teach our children is that learning can be FUN! Smart Bubblegum is predicated on the belief that children learn best through play. Educational apps and games can aid in both understanding and absorption. They can reinforce the lessons from the classroom and give your child a leg up as they progress from one grade to the next. This is another area where you could do the research on your own to find the best apps to assist your child in their educational journey, or you could lean into the expertise of the Smart Bubblegum team. We’ve already vetted and reviewed hundreds of apps to help children of all ages in a wide variety of subjects. To learn more about how Smart Bubblegum can help both you and your child, visit us today at www.SmartBubblegum.com.
While there are still concerns about TOO much screen time among children and teens, ways you can help ensure the time they do spend online is time well-spent include:
- Lead by example – consider setting certain rules that apply to everyone in the family, including no phones at the dinner table and no screen time after a certain hour to allow everyone to wind down and connect with one another (rather than their device) before bedtime.
- Create media-free zones – because a good night’s sleep is vital to a child’s development and performance, you may want to consider making your child’s bedroom a media-free zone. The dining room can be another media-free zone to help everyone adhere to the “no phones at the dinner table” rule.
- Keep an eye on content – when you do allow them to enjoy screen time that isn’t necessarily homework-related, be sure that the quality of content is beneficial for shaping their young minds.
- Encourage breaks – Even young ones can get eye fatigue from staring at a screen for extended periods of time. Keep an eye on their usage and call them to the kitchen for a snack, take them to the park, or take the dog on a walk together – leaving the mobile device at home.
- Engage in digital media together – try not to be that parent who hands their child a digital device to get a little peace and quiet (we’ve all done it at some point). Instead, take time to engage in apps, online learning, streaming, etc. with your child and enhance the experience by talking about it afterward.
With a little guidance and some ground rules, you can ensure that your child’s digital media use is positive by focusing more on quality vs. quantity. For even more tips on how to enhance your child’s educational journey, bookmark the blog at SmartBubblegum.com and visit us often!