Today’s youth share a unique bond with technology. They have grown up around Apple products, mastered finding wifi and HotSpots, and most never think twice about using words like “Google” or “Facebook” as verbs. For adult generations, however, this fluency with technology is not as second-nature.
In fact, parents may feel conflicted about the seemingly omniscient presence of technology in their children’s lives. Each week, alarming headlines appear on the front page of every major news outlet touting the risks and drawbacks of allowing kids to use technology. Concerns range from questioning whether your child has a technology addiction, to debating if technology causes social difficulties in the future. While the jury is still out on determining fact-based answers to these puzzling questions, one fact remains: kids and technology seem intertwined. Bearing in mind this relationship, we have a few recommendations for how parents can introduce their young ones to maximize the more productive apps that technology has to offer.
Check out this amazing list of educational mobile applications for younger children. Some, like “Cookie Monster’s Challenge,” utilize popular characters from highly innovative and successful educational children’s television programs like Sesame Street or Disney to teach fundamental concepts like reading and mathematics. Parents can search for the name of the app on their phones, and download many for free or under $3!
Digital Trends ranked the top twenty best educational tech toys for kids this year. The list includes build-your-own robot kits and electric circuit puzzle challenges that strengthen motor skills and encourage creativity. Not to mention, that many of the items on the list are fun for adults and older children as well.
While the use of technology can tend to pose many worrisome questions about long term effects on young people, it can also be used to reinforce key educational concepts or to promote family bonding. With gadgets and gizmos here to stay, parents might very well decide to invoke the old saying, “If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em!”