As a mom, you want to do everything you can to make sure your children have the tools they need to succeed in school. As technology becomes more commonplace and advanced, kids who once got by with pencils, notebooks, and a calculator are now using tablets, smartphones, and computers both at home and at school.
While you are fine with your kids jumping on the tech bandwagon, you also know that children, tweens, and teens alike adore their “screen time,” often to the detriment of their chores, homework and spending time with you. Fortunately, it is definitely possible to select specific software and hardware that will serve as tools for elevating your kids’ learning experiences, not take away from them. Check out the following ideas:
Available as both a website and a downloadable app, the Khan Academy first started as an online math resource and is now a site that helps students from elementary through high school to learn a wide number of other subjects including economics and science, all for free. Your third grader can get her own account at Khan Academy to get a little extra help with reading, and your high school junior can also get a separate account to get tutorials for his AP classes. If you have had to Google “fifth-grade math” to try to help your tween with her homework, the Khan Academy will be great for both you and your child. The site is user-friendly, free of annoying pop-up ads and combines videos with practice problems, pre-tests and more.
If you have watched a family-friendly show with your kiddo, you have probably seen the ads on TV for ABCMouse.com. The subscription-based website and software program is getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason — it features more than 850 lessons that span 10 levels and is ideal for preschoolers through second grade. The step-by-step learning path is a carefully-designed curriculum program that teaches your child a number of subjects in a fun and engaging way. As a bonus, you can sign up for a 30-day free trial of the program.
Qualcomm AI Platform
In addition to the software you load into your child’s tech in the form of programs and apps, certain types of hardware on the devices themselves can help boost your child’s learning. For example, the Qualcomm Snapdragon artificial intelligence/AI mobile platform can help make school projects more streamlined and organized for your kids. Because the Snapdragon mobile platforms use on-device machine learning, they will learn to adapt to your young students and the way they use their mobile devices. The platform also features battery-efficient performance, so it will “learn” how much power your teen usually uses when researching websites for a school paper and adapt the battery use accordingly. Also, if your middle schooler needs to take a variety of photos of the bugs, butterflies, and flowers found in your backyard for a science project, the Snapdragon mobile platform will help the camera recognize objects and detect surroundings so that the photos will look their best.
A Laptop with a Decent Operating System
Doing research on a laptop, storing data for projects, watching educational tutorials and other tasks require a decent amount of RAM and storage. Investing in a high quality and powerful laptop that your kids can use for years to come is definitely a good idea. CNET has a helpful list of the best laptops and other computers for students, with the Microsoft Surface Laptop coming out on top. The laptop has an Intel Core i5 CPU, 4GB of RAM and 128 GD of SSD storage, along with a 13-inch screen and the newest Windows 10 operating system.
Like it or not, tech is definitely an integral part of your kids’ education. Rather than resisting it, try to embrace it and see the wonderful ways that it will enhance your children’s learning. You may find yourself learning right along with them.