When I was teaching I loved technology as a form of engagement and to assess and enhance learning. All my students had their own digital portfolios and websites. I created all programs incorporating technology effectively. I then created training for educators and demonstrated how to implement it into the classroom.
Kids are the digital native, their brains are wired differently as they have been exposed to technology a lot earlier then their parents have been. They think differently and comprehend differently too. Most understand technology better than most adults. Not only has technology helped them learn better, be more engaged, provided more accessibility but also teaches problem-solving and multi-tasking skills.
My top 5 reasons why technology is imperative in learning
- ENGAGEMENT – children love to be entertained, learning needs to be fun and purposeful. When student’s learn with devices that they use for fun, then they equate learning to be fun. When you can capture the attention (so many exciting ways to do this with technology) and use what they use in their free time, you start tapping into their passions and strengths.
- PERSONALISED LEARNING – everybody learns at a different pace, children are no different. Everyone has different strengths, talents, gifts, and weaknesses. If set up correctly, with technology, it can really aid this and allow for a personalised learning experience that is tailored to their strengths to be encouraged and their weaknesses to be worked on.
- WITH TECHNOLOGY, THERE ARE NO LIMITATIONS – Giving students access to other mediums of information other than just the book, it allows for problem-solving, discernment, note-taking, differentiation and most importantly to decide what view they reside with and why. It is completely open-ended opposed to closed, one answer which allows for growth which is imperative for future generations to be able to explore, create and innovate.
- CREATIVE FLOW – this one is very important and as technology improves, so does the flow. When someone is creating and/or absorbing information, some times a processing delay can occur, and stop that ‘flow’. With the aid of technology it allows for children to break down those barriers, as the processing (e.g. physically searching for information is at fingertips, mediums (sound, draw, type – all can be done on the one device without changing equipment) the flow, therefore, isn’t broken, knowledge building and creating can occur without interference.
- STRONGER TEACHER/STUDENT AND PARENT/CHILD RELATIONSHIPS – when parents and teachers effectively integrate technology, their roles change, no longer are they the ‘all-knowing knowledge keeper, what they say goes’ but it allows for parents and teachers to be more of a guide, a coach, an advisor, a mentor with learning, which allows children to discover knowledge, gather information and problem solve without being told. It allows for easier collaboration between peers.
My go-to educational apps
I get asked all the time what are the best educational apps for the iPad. Short answer: depends on how you use them. You might think an app is completely just for play, but I bet I could at a key learning area to it. But that takes time and expertise and something that is important for your child’s teacher to do. So whilst I am providing a list and have linked them to key learning areas, remember with learning, you want children to be able to create, problem-solve, multi-task, and have an opportunity to work on their strengths and weaknesses. I will be sharing some really easy activities soon on how to implement these at home, but in the meantime, these are some great apps to get your child use to learning in an engaging way which focuses on key learning areas.
I have created this with the following categories (please note there are a lot more that I love for each key learning area, these are just a few plus I have tried to include as many FREE options as I can). This is a great start when first purchasing an iPad and not sure what to download first.
Areas of learning
Key areas of learning for this freebie:
- Organization / memory
My FREE go-to educational apps can be downloaded on my ‘COURSES’ page, just sign up and it will be sent directly to your inbox. Comment below how you have found it or tag us @storyandco using your new app guide.