Click here for shortcuts to regional language blogs and city-specific events.
Holistic Development is the keyword that parents these days focus on, and explore its aspects for their children’s evolution and progress. It’s the magic formula the parents wish to learn and use it for their children’s success in all fields of life. And one of the major aspects of the holistic learning and development is occupied by a massive chunk of Technology. Yes, learning with technology is a big and very important part of overall development in today’s world; I would say it’s as equal as the traditional learning methods and even more effective at times. It’s also a dear-to-heart topic for parents to debate on as to find out the best they can offer their children in information education and how can they help their children to make the best use of the available tools of learning in the right way.
“Technology is overpowering the world today”, we often hear this statement from people around and that’s the reason we as parents are intimidated by this fact, and try to work out better ways of dealing with technology and kids together. And believe me, this is quite scary! But, we as parents also have control over many things related to our kids, and technology can also be one of those, if implemented in the right way. Dell and mycity4kids provided a wonderful forum on PC Literacy Days, with a number of parents and technology experts who believed that PC and exposure to technology has very significant role to play in the overall development of children. The parenting community along with the panel of experts and social influencers from various fields, like, education, and technology shared their views on not only the pros of technology, but also the cons and the ways to overcome those shortcomings.
We all know that technology is transforming lives in every part of the world, from Tier 1 to Tier 4 cities and children even in the small villages in India are hungry for this transformation and they take the hardest steps to grab a single drop of learning, and PC is the gateway to new age learning and overall development of young children. And we as parents also wish a world of education wherein teachers act as curators, who expose our children to content on a PC, and allow them to observe, explore, and learn. As shared by a panelist, Mr. Sanchit Vir Gogia, Founder & CEO, Greyhound Research, 89% of parents in the country have a fear that they are not able to guide their children in information education as they wish to. In Tier 1 towns, 52% parents introduced a PC to a child below the age of 5, but the problems have always been lack of control, not able to monitor, kids always take PC as a gaming device and much more. While PC usage may be lesser in Tier 3 & 4 towns, there is a sense of seriousness and appreciation associated with computing due to limited access in these regions.
We want our children to learn effectively, and want them to be creative and for that information literacy is a basic prerequisite. We spend on our kids’ school and tuition expenses, which are very essential, but along with this an investment on a PC can be an added value to the learning and development of our children. It’s easier to watch a video to understand how a petrol or a diesel engine works, than mere diagrams that we find in the books. We see and hear about many children in a quite young age experimenting and giving out to the world new ideas, solutions to many critical social, scientific or technological issues. How do they do it? I believe it’s because of the right exposure at the right time, with parents and teachers as equal participators and curators, effective guidance and channelizing children’s energy in the right direction.
Holistic view on learning is also important for schools to learn and adopt actively. These days schools are adapting to these new ways of learning through technology like, online homework, and smart classes, but still the concept of parallel learning is not so prevailing and the schools haven’t changed conceptually. Esp. in smaller towns where children have more urge for knowledge, traditional teaching methods have limited reach to exploring knowledge and for this information literacy is very important. Here we as parents have to ensure that our children have access and exposure to smart learning environment.
Access to information and how to use that information is a right these days, but as parents we have to make it more effective for our children by making them learn when and where to use these rights for developing their valued skills sets. Sometimes traditional methods can turn in closing kids' gateways to knowledge, as we all take information in through our emotional center, and conventional ways being very monotonous and tedious can close that gateway of learning. Now, the major part of discussion in the wondrous session was When and How to use the available resource of technology, the PC? Here, 3 different spectrum were discussed by the panelists where parents have much control over kids to the spectrum where parents have very less or no control and I concur with this as a mother of 2 boys, one in the 1st spectrum and the other in the second one:
· below 8 yrs parents decide for their children
· 8-13 yrs kids voice out but need approval by parents
· 13 above kids have their own opinion, and this becomes more challenging for parents.
I understand that it's sometimes very difficult for us as parents to deal with ever changing ideas, new solutions and new age gizmos in order to keep ourselves updated to the level to help and understand the new challenges our kids face in this ever changing world, but the good news is that the forum also came up with solutions to these issues, and the so-far best solutions that we can use every time by:
· participating with kids,
· communicating with them often on almost every possible topic,
· building trust in them and allowing them to build their trust in us as parents,
· curating content for them,
· monitoring as and when required
Yes, parenting is tedious and difficult, but it’s a learning process too! We can also learn while we help our kids learn!