Technology use in the lives of young children is hotly debated -- how much is too much? Does using a computer bar kids from learning certain skills? Do computers make kids lazy, or unorganized? Educators from elementary schools to high schools seem to agree that technology is essential to their classrooms in this day and age, but it must be used wisely.
Consider this quote from Oregon State University's director of academic technology and information services David Goodrum:
"A 21st-century view of learner success requires students to not only be thoughtful consumers of digital content but effective and collaborative creators of digital media, demonstrating competencies and communicating ideas through dynamic storytelling, data visualization and content curation."
Consider "thoughtful" as the keyword from Mr. Goodrum. When used properly, technology is an asset in children's lives and development as thoughtful and capable people. Here are a few small ways that personal tablets, for example, can help school children.
Access to Individualized Study Computers have been used for individualized and alternative education plans for years, even in public school computer labs. Personal tablets open the doors to applications, websites, and creation platforms that help each child develop their own study style and interests.
Cutting Down on Physical Supplies
Numerous studies have been conducted over the past couple of decades that bring attention to the negative effect heavy backpacks have on the spine and muscle growth of school-age children. Online note-taking and digital textbooks on a small tablet means easier transport from home to school and back, plus fewer disappearances of important documents and papers.
Teaching Responsible Use
It's rather common for parents and guardians to think, 'I never had something as nice as a personal tablet when I was a kid! Kids take these things for granted.' It's beneficial and very possible to teach children to take care of delicate and valuable possessions early on. On top of that, but it's also beneficial to teach your children responsible use of technology in general, including being good citizens of the internet and using technology for respectable means in school, not to cheat or take the 'easy way out'. Having children effectively do their own research makes them critical thinkers. Instilling these values in school children means a greater chance for them lasting into adulthood.
Getting An Early Start On Valuable Tech Skills
One of the benefits of prep schools is getting a leg up for a successful college experience. Today, basic technological literacy is key for college applications, testing, and coursework. The national average SAT score is approximately 1235 for private school learners, higher than the national average of 1060. Some of this can be attributed to greater technological and test-taking literacy for private school children. Furthermore, technology is one of the fastest-growing job industries in the world, and its advances influence almost every other job market. If your child is aiming for a college education, an early start on tech skills is valuable beyond words.
One of the advantages of private school education is the adequate funding and healthy appreciation for technology that supports children's greatest ambitions. Riviera Schools celebrates the importance of technology and self-sufficiency by providing personal tablets for all school children from third grade through twelfth grade.