Look around. What do you see?
Nine times out of ten, your eyes will land on a piece of technology, a device, or a machine that is changing the way we live.
Technology, and thus screens, are now an integral part of the world we inhabit. This is making its way into children’s lives to the extent that schools have begun to adopt technology-led teaching aids. Research into screen time usage shows that it boosts the development of young children in many critical areas. Data even suggests that children who spend an hour or two every day interacting with digital devices have higher social and emotional well-being levels than others.
There is tremendous value to ensuring children are digitally literate. But how do you use the educational and imaginative power of screens to engage kids? How can you turn screen time into positive learning time?
Here are four ways you can use screen time to your advantage.
Make Screen Time Interactive
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends adults co-view, co-play, and co-engage with children when they are using screens. Screen time doesn’t have to be bad, just as long as you help them engage with what’s on the screen. And for this to happen, you have to be active yourself. You can increase the interactive nature of screen time by:
- Watching videos and asking related questions (Did you like this character? Why do you think he looks like that?)
- Introducing them to learning games with highly interactive apps
Encourage Educational Entertainment Or Edutainment
A study by health scientist Taren Sanders has linked educational screen time to doing better in school. Balancing screen time so that children can enjoy it from an educational or playful perspective is a prudent choice. Also, such apps and games are often based on research and are very intuitive to young children’s needs. There is a bevy of carefully designed instruments that offer crucial skill development; pick toys, games, and apps that are labeled edutainment or educational.
Weave Positive Habits Into Screen Time
Introduce positive habits while children are using screens. Teach them how to handle devices responsibly and safely, including starting, charging, and shutting down the devices. Encourage them to self-regulate the time they spend in front of screens, too. This way, you show children how to develop good online etiquette that keeps them safer when they begin using personal devices. At the same time, you are helping them become more independent as they play and learn.
Join In The Fun Yourself
One of the best ways to make screen time memorable and beneficial is to join in and play with your young learners. Teach them how to use devices, watch YouTube videos with them, and play edutainment games alongside them. Of course, you don’t necessarily have to oversee every single moment of their screen time. Children need the freedom to explore on their own as well. However, letting them know you are available to play with them goes a long way towards keeping kids happy and making sure their screen time is positive.
What are your views about positive screen time? How can edtech help support teachers in the classroom? Comment below.
Student-centric, playful learning experiences are an essential component of learning. At Square Panda, we are committed to innovatively impacting education. Know more about our work: ecce.squarepanda.in
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