While technology is always changing, our common sense and philosophy behind how and why we use it should be strong and foundational. Consider these tips for tech savvy students:
Hardware, software, and mental protections.
With personal computer or laptop, it can feel like the whole world is at your fingertips. And in a way, it is; unfortunately, that includes the bad along with the good.
Keep liquids, food, and younger siblings’ grubby hands away. Make sure your device is updated with the latest anti-virus software. Also, monitor use so you know exactly what your children can see, create strong passwords that you and your children both know, and establish rules around social media. For example, do they have their own Instagram or Facebook profiles? Are they public or private? Do they engage in DM (direct messages)?
Think about posture.
Make sure your student has a comfortable workspace. Check out this article from Time for how high the screen should be, neck and spine alignment, and standing desks. Bottom line? Movement is always best, so encourage your student to take breaks and stretch, limit seated time, and not get in a laptop rut. Setting healthy habits young will set them up for a lifetime of positive and healthful practices.
Speaking of posture, consider how your student approaches websites, social media, and blogs. Are comments respectful? Does he engage in healthy discussion online? Does he find reputable sources? When he shares or posts things, would be proud for you to read them?
Alternatives to technology.
As parents, we can be mindful and intentional about where we let our students spend their time and creativity. While there is a plethora of programs and apps to learn and utilize, don’t forget about the benefits of hibernating the screen.
Check out this past blog about ideas for connecting with real people IRL (that’s “in real life” for those not yet fluent in social media slang.) Some ideas include sending snail mail and not e-mail or texts, starting meet-ups with local friends, and creating masterpieces like newsletters or scrapbooks that you can actually have and hold.
Focus on concepts.
Technology changes constantly. What’s upcoming and in-demand today will be long forgotten after the next new thing comes out.
If your student is interested in computer programming, design, photography, architecture, or other fields that depend on computers, don’t focus on the latest software. Encourage your student to understand the basics. For example, how certain computer languages solve particular problems or what kind of post-editing a photographer would want to do to a culinary shoot.
A student who thinks critically will always be more resourceful and industrious than one whose process is automated and tied to a particular technology.
If you desire a school that encourages well-rounded and tech savvy students, look no further. Self Development Academy is recognized as one of the best K-8 charter schools nationwide. We have campuses in Phoenix and Mesa. Find email and phone numbers here. We can’t wait to hear from you!