How to Use Screens to Build a Better Toolkit

One of the biggest challenges for parents today is how to effectively engage their kids in activities that are fun and educational at the same time. As a result, many parents have started using technology as a means of engaging their kids — and they’re doing it in ways that we never expected! Today, it’s not just video games or YouTube videos that we use with our children; there are now virtual reality platforms, computer programming programs, and more that we can use as tools to help engage younger ones in things they’ll enjoy. The good news is that there are both pros and cons to using screens when it comes to kids. On the one hand, for example, computers and smartphones have given us access to entertainment that was previously only available to adults. On the other hand, digital media has also made it easier for children to access inappropriate content while spending too much time playing video games or watching TV shows.

What are the benefits of using screens?

Screen time has its drawbacks too, but overall, it can be a really useful part of the lives of kids. Kids who use screens can often learn faster, because they’re surrounded by lots of new information. Many screen-based learning activities can also help kids build problem-solving skills, increase their creativity, and increase their confidence. Kids who spend time using screens also often have less behavior problems than those who don’t use digital media.Kids who spend a lot of time on screens are more likely to have poor sleep, because screens often emit light and may also cause kids to feel anxious about missing out on everything that’s happening in the real world. Additionally, the blue light that screens emit may make it harder for kids to fall asleep and have a restful sleep.

Screen time has its drawbacks too

Kids who use screens also have higher rates of obesity, because they may be less active than those who aren’t on screens. Additionally, kids who use screens are more likely to have behavioural problems, because they may be more easily frustrated and less likely to exert self-control.

How do you know when it’s time to unplug?

As a rule of thumb, you should unplug when your child starts to look bored, or if they complain of headaches or feelings of stress while they’re using screens. If your child regularly complains of feeling down while they’re using screens, it’s probably time to take a break!

3 Strategies for Developing a Better Digital Toolkit for Kids

VR for Virtual RealityVirtual reality is perhaps the most exciting digital tool available today, because it allows for incredibly realistic experiences that weren’t possible before. Virtual reality systems let users “walk around” and explore a computer-generated environment, just as if they were actually in that world.VR is especially useful for helping kids with developmental transitions, like helping kids with autism transition from a routine of a single activity, like a special diet, to a routine of multiple activities. VR can also be used as a tool for helping kids with anxiety, like helping kids who have social anxiety overcome stage fright.Computer Programming for Robots and AnimatsonsComputer programming could soon go from being a luxury to being a necessity — if governments and companies start requiring it as part of the job application process. Technically, children as young as eight or nine years old can start learning programming — but with the right guidance, most kids will find it much easier to learn if they start when they’re around 11 or 12.Kids can use programming as a way to explore topics like science, math, ethics, language, geography, and more. For example, there are many programming challenges that explore geometry, such as “how many squares are in an 8×8 grid?”Kids can also use computer programming as a way to develop creativity. Some of the easiest ways to do this are to teach kids to create games and to build robots.

VR for Virtual Reality

VR is perhaps the most exciting digital tool available today, because it allows for incredibly realistic experiences that weren’t possible before. VR systems let users “walk around” and explore a computer-generated environment, just as if they were actually in that world.VR is especially useful for helping kids with developmental transitions, like helping kids with autism transition from a routine of a single activity, like a special diet, to a routine of multiple activities. VR can also be used as a tool for helping kids with anxiety, like helping kids who have social anxiety overcome stage fright.Computer Programming for Robots and AnimatsonsComputer programming could soon go from being a luxury to being a necessity — if governments and companies start requiring it as part of the job application process. Technically, children as young as eight or nine years old can start learning programming — but with the right guidance, most kids will find it much easier to learn if they start when they’re around 11 or 12.Kids can use programming as a way to explore topics like science, math, ethics, language, geography, and more. For example, there are many programming challenges that explore geometry, such as “how many squares are in an 8×8 grid?”Kids can also use computer programming as a way to develop creativity. Some of the easiest ways to do this are to teach kids to create games and to build robots.

Conclusion

Whether you use screens or not, it’s important to keep in mind that screen time is not the same thing as screen viewing. Screen time is when kids use screens, especially when it takes up a lot of their time. Screen viewing, on the other hand, is when kids simply look at screens, either for entertainment or to get information.The good news is that we now have more tools to help us engage young ones with technology than ever before. As parents, we just need to use them wisely and proactively — and most importantly, not to replace face-to-face interaction with people.

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