Growing up digital: How digital screens are changing the way we read
While there was a miniscule difference between scores, the study went on to say that the laptop program was "positively related" to the "significant" improvement of students' writing test scores. While neither study expressly states why educators believed that the laptops directly impoved test scores, more than 80 percent of the teachers surveyed said that the laptops helped them explore topics in greater depth, teach more effectively and tailor cirriculum better than before.
Finding the magic
In a future where parents may have to reconcile that their children will spend more time on screens in school, Buckleitner says it’s important to remember that they still have control at home. Try to plan activities and vacations where screens are off-limits, for example.
Taylor says in his practice, families that make time to disconnect are happier.
“Over time, they realized they didn’t need technology,” Taylor said. “Their lives actually got better.”
Taylor said the best thing parents can do is make sure they have a healthy relationship with technology to set a good example. Some suggestions? Force small children to disconnect, have designated hours or vacations without technology and no devices until homework is done.
"Kids have become addicted to connection. If parents are constantly on their phones, they're rolemodeling an unhealthy relationship with technology," Taylor said. "It's about the act of using technology, not what's in the technology. Parents need to show kids how to use technology in a positive way and that's a challenge for us because we aren't digital natives."
Another suggestion from Buckleitner is to let technology enhance real-world experiences. Taking the kids to the zoo? Check out the website before hand. Afterwards, Google information on the kids' favorite animals to make the experience live on through education.
"Above all, play along," Buckleitner said.
The key for Buckleitner is to give kids options and remind them that there’s a real world out there waiting for them.
“It’s a real art to seamlessly blend the real world with the abstract experience. To a young child, a light switch is just as intimidating as a tablet. It’s all new,” Buckleitner said. “The biggest job for parents is to make the connections and that’s the same job that every parent has ever faced, whether it’s analog or digital. What we want to do is help them find the magic.”
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