Remember when homework involved spelling lists, sums and those mind-numbing home readers?
Now it’s gone tech-savvy, and if you’re like me, you can begin to feel like you don’t know what’s going on.
With 75 per cent of Aussie kids learning online via tutorials, video conferencing, podcasts and by creating multimedia projects, you may feel like your kids are never offline.
Celeb parents are as worried as the rest of us, with Jennifer Lopez instituting a system called ‘Sunday Funday’ where her kids can use their devices just one day a week.
Likewise, Angelina Jolie hired a cyber security team to monitor her kids’ internet activity because, as she says: 'It’s a scary new world.’ But the experts believe the key is to embrace technology, not fear it.
‘Parents should avoid feeling the “techno-guilt” that comes with monitoring screen time,’ says children’s technology and brain researcher
Dr Kristy Goodwin.
‘Instead, they should try to understand what content their kids are consuming online, and not focus on how many hours they are spending on it.’
Most parents are keen to embrace a new ‘flipped’ way of learning, according to the nbn Digital Parenting Report, with 48 per cent co-viewing educational material online with their kids.
So how can you make sure their screen time is valuable and educational?
Kristy offers these tips for parents helping their kids using technology...
1. Don’t obsess about the time your child spends on screens – instead focus on what kids are doing when they're online.
2. Use technology with your child. Research shows that co-viewing has educational benefits, whether it's streaming TV or playing video games. Help your child learn by being present and interacting with them.
3. Prevent the ‘digital zombie’ effect. Ask kids about what they’re doing, and encourage them to create podcasts, slideshows, digital books and videos, as well as simply consuming content.
4. Let your kids teach you. Kids love teaching their parents and often they have more tech knowledge and skills than you. But they don’t have the same life skills, so work with them and learn from each other.