NEW TECH TOOLS: OUR LANCES FOR LEARNING
Technology is part of our world and it’s part of our children’s lives. As parents, it’s up to us to decide how technology plays in our children’s day-to-day life. Like many of us, we allow technology in our homes with limits. During the summer vacation, we normally allow more screen time but it doesn’t mean our children have a free run of whatever they want. We still want them to be using apps that work on skills like reading. Our children are getting screen time, but it’s also learning time.
For instance, kids are already benefiting from digital learning devices like smartphones and tablets, which makes it possible to access educational materials and projects 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, both in the classroom and at home.
The best Edtech apps also help our children develop 21st-century skills, and through connected and personalized teaching, help parents and teachers with undivided engagement and motivation. This speeds up the rate of learning and prevents educational resources from being wasted.
However, even with the best EdTech apps, parents are still apprehensive when it comes to tech for learning. The tricky balance between gadget time and learning thru EdTech needs to be addressed with the appropriate teaching apps. So, what can possibly be the best three learning apps for kids nowadays?
Here’s a trio which we think are some of the best Edtech apps out there.
01. KHAN ACADEMY
Khan Academy is one of the best EdTechs, considering the wide range of courses it offers for students of all ages. And it’s free!
Khan Academy is popular among students, parents, and teachers because its videos are engaging and targeted at visual learners, using photos, maps, and other illustrations, and because it allows students to work at their own pace. Khan Academy makes it easy and fun for young kids to jump in and immerse themselves in foundational, fundamental, and comprehensive early-learning content. Books, videos, songs, and games are high quality and make creative use of the touchscreen format. Mixed in among the more typical multiple-choice-type activities are plenty of opportunities for kids to experiment, explore, and express themselves.
02. PBS KIDS
Who doesn’t love PBS? It’s been a staple in child entertainment for decades, from Sesame Street to Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood—and it’s still going strong today. With the free PBS Kids Video and PBS Kids Games apps, your kids can play games and watch videos based on today’s most popular PBS shows like Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and Cat in the Hat. Suitable for kids as young as two years old, the PBS Kids apps have something for everyone, teaching early science and math skills in fun and full-color games. With your help, your kids can play games based on a favorite character, or you can choose certain skills for them to work on, such as letters, numbers, shapes, and more. That said, there’s so much here that it can be easy for kids to get lost or feel overwhelmed.
Skybrary, a children’s reading app, is an immersive world of discovery, with 7 magical islands, each home to hundreds of quality books and educational videos that celebrate diversity, family and the world around us. It has nearly a thousand titles, it supports reading comprehension, and best of all, they can do their own stories too! Young readers are free to explore the topics they love most as well as discover new areas of interest. As with most ebooks, kids can read the books themselves or have them read by a narrator. Books are categorized by a series of floating islands, which have a sliding list of titles. Finishing a book earns kids a sticker reward. The app also features mini films covering a wide range of educational topics and has a dashboard to help parents track what their kid is reading.
And while we’re at it, when it comes to reading and audiobooks, both have found their way into the hearts of many book lovers and their tandem is just increasing with time. That is why there are several sources out there which provides the best of both worlds like Kid-fi. They offer books in 3 formats: kindle, audio and paperback. Some parents even use these 3 in a combo. Paperback for reading and learning, audiobook for listening and pronunciation, and kindle for on-the-go entertainment. And that’s not all, Kid-Fi is also doing an app with a “choose your own adventure vibe” using the characters and world in our books. If that’s not one of the best tech apps, we don’t know what is
Remember, there are a myriad of tech for learning software and apps out there. It’s practically a gold mine. But technology is not here to replace pre-existing teaching and learning methodologies for us parents, but it will strengthen our abilities, enhance our work as teachers and as parents; helping our children achieve their full potential in a quicker and more fun way.
by Bubuy Balangue