Over the last 25 years, technology has played an increasingly-important role in the field of education. It started in the 1980s with educational apps that could be installed on a personal computer and simple hand-held devices like “Speak and Spell.” And now, textbooks are slowly being replaced by eBooks that allow students to study using their laptop or home computer.
Some schools are even making the move towards becoming virtually “book-free.” These digital books are not only less expensive, but they can be updated “on the fly” so information is much more current than traditional textbooks. Plus, without the need to lug around heavy text books, learning is more convenient than ever before – and kids can’t use the excuse “I forgot my book” to get out of doing homework!
Whether their school is on the cutting edge of technology or not, you can give your child a technological head start with one of today’s “smart phones” or tablets. Devices like the iPhone and iPad offer a wide variety of apps for education so kids can take their learning everywhere they go. Apps covering topics like Science and Technology, Math, or English are proven to be more interactive than their hard-backed counterparts.
One popular app, Star Walk, opens up the heavens like a telescope, taking kids (or adults) on a tour through astrological bodies and various constellations. Another app called “Fish School” by Duck, Duck Moose uses creative and colorful fish to teach children shapes and letters. The fish swim around and, like a marching band, assume formation creating a shape that the child is asked to identify using a multiple choice format. These types of educational apps are especially attractive to younger kids.
Young or old, toddler or teen, the role of technology has expanded from just “fun and games” to “facts, facts, and more facts.” In fact, there are educational apps designed to teach people of any age or skill level. Kids love these apps because they seem more like playing than learning, but even medical students are benefitting with apps like “Grey’s Anatomy,” which has full-color illustrations and all the information of the original tome, just in a smaller package.
Learning apps are revolutionizing the way education is delivered and changing our understanding of the word “classroom.” Learning, in a literal sense, is no longer confined within four walls. It can happen anywhere, whenever curiosity hits. With the right tools, students can truly take charge of their own education. And while it’s a big responsibility, most children have an innate desire to learn. Parents can nurture this desire by allow them to explore information on their own terms using an iPad or iPhone device.