Technology permeates every aspect of our lives. Until recently, being computer savvy was enough to help your kids in class. Now, however, classrooms are using additional tech tools, tons of online resources and software and even cell phones. The good news is that, by learning today’s tech, you can help your kids in class while helping them prep for real-world experiences.
All sorts of tools are used in the classroom. It goes beyond computers. Digital cameras document project work. Camcorders record presentations. Scanners help assemble digital poster boards. Learning how to use these techy tools can help your kids succeed because they’ll be able to use them actively in school. Practice with whatever tools you have around the house. For instance, challenge your kids to photograph birds around your home with a digital camera. Download the images to your computer. Pin the images to Pinterest, and see if you can identify the bird species through simple Google searches. None of those steps are difficult by themselves, but the project can seem overwhelming unless you break it down into individual pieces and work on it together.
While standard word processing software is sufficient for typing up a report, today’s classrooms rely on collaborative software and computer programs. Learn how to navigate a forum or leave a comment on a blog. Understand how to make calls through Skype. Instant messaging, too, is becoming more important as teachers and tutors host homework help times with that technology.
The technology landscape is constantly changing, and that’s most apparent in social media. Teachers are starting to use tools like Facebook pages, Twitter and Pinterest for classroom activities, announcements and assignments. Even if you don’t plan on being socially active on any of those channels, it’s a good idea to set up profiles to stay in touch with your child’s classroom and to monitor any school-related profiles.