Turn Screen Time into Growth Time with Kids Academy
Feb. 8, 2024
Think back to your earliest childhood memories; how did you spend your time? Unlike today’s kids, your memories likely don’t include playing for hours on your parent’s smartphones. By contrast, modern children are considered digital “natives”, meaning that from the moment of birth they live in an environment where the use of mobile devices and the Internet is the norm.
This new normality poses new questions and challenges to parents and teachers. The former may be wondering how to make the most of their kids’ screen time to ensure that they have the best balance of online and offscreen activities. While for the latter it’s natural to be wary of incorporating screen devices into the classroom, especially with the already limited time within a school day.
Luckily, high-quality digital learning tools can help both parents and teachers make the best out of their kids’ and students’ time with screens. Thanks to highly engaging elements, such as interactive apps, games, and educational videos, online content enhances the learning process by making it playful and fun. Whether at home or in the classroom, screen time offers a dynamic and engaging educational experience that prepares kids for navigating today’s technology-driven world.
Let’s review the top concerns regarding screen time, ways to address them, the potential benefits, and how Kids Academy can maximize a child’s digital engagement.
Top Screen Time Concerns and Solutions
In a poll put out by the medical educational company, Healio, screen time tops the list of parent concerns when it comes to their children’s health, namely overuse of devices, impact on kids’ mental health and cognitive development and decrease in physical activity.
Still, most parents prefer to allow their children screen time despite these concerns. We live in a world that thrives on digital media which is neither good nor bad in itself but rather a tool that, when used wisely, can make a positive difference. Technology has transformed and enriched our lives in so many important ways that it only makes sense for it to extend to the youngest members of our household.
So, what are some solutions to parent’s top concerns? To start, parents can:
- Co-view or co-play content with children to make screen time into family time. Learning is reinforced when parents are involved in the process, and all involved will enjoy time spent together.
- Choose high-quality educational content from proven companies or organizations.
- Balance screen time with off-screen activities and experiences. For example, if your child is learning to count, they may watch a video or play an online game before getting up to dance to the Five Little Monkeys song. By pairing physical activities with digital learning, you can help you child balance screen time with offline activities that reinforce the same skills.
- Create a family media plan to create boundaries and limitations that fit within your family’s lifestyle. Stick with routines to reinforce screen time limits.
In the educational world, tech tools offer innovative new ways for students to learn, yet many teachers are loath to try them because of the time it would take to learn how to use them. However, tech tools are meant to make an educator’s job easier while enhancing the learning experience for the student.
For teachers wary of incorporating digital media and screens into their teaching, the following tips might be of use:
- Create a teaching center or station that includes brief digital worksheets or online games relevant to your overarching lesson or unit. For instance, on a day when students explore learning centers, create a center that features learning games on an iPad that covers the same skills as those in the other centers.
- Choose apps or programs that don’t require students to log in for seamless integration into your lesson cycle. Instead, look for apps that allow teachers to set up activities that can be quickly shared via an access code displayed on the projector screen or Smart Board in the classroom.
- Think of digital learning activities as just one tool in your teaching toolkit; they are not supposed to replace other teaching strategies but rather to effectively complement other aspects of a lesson cycle. For example, start a place value lesson with hands-on manipulatives like base ten blocks. During the lesson, have kids log in to an online classroom to complete interactive worksheets for more practice. This allows teachers to quickly assess whether students understand the lesson while giving kids another way to practice and solidify their learning.
Transform Screen Time into Learning Time
Kids Academy is proud to introduce two new EdTech instruments that will help both teachers and parents provide children with the highest quality content, enrich their learning, and maximize the wholesomeness of their screen time:
- Our flagship Talented and Gifted app beloved by users is now offered in an online web format that includes all the same functionality of the app within any web browser! Learners can enjoy all the content no matter what device they’re using, anytime, and anywhere, which makes quality and fun learning more accessible than ever.
- Kids Academy Classroom is an innovative new way to create engaging lessons with students in a school setting. Inside the online classroom, teachers can quickly select activities from our vast resource library, including digital worksheets, videos, online quizzes and games, and give their students the direct link or the classroom code to enter on their students page. This is a great way to set up engaging, interactive in-class activities and receive real-time results to further guide their learning.
Kids Academy is known for providing educators and families with the highest-quality learning apps and resources, which can turn screen time into growth time! Our website hosts thousands of educational worksheets that can be completed on or offline, learning videos and lessons, and even interactive games! The Talented and Gifted app, available in both the Apple AppStore and Google Play, offers a learning progression that allows parents to track their child’s progress while on-screen activities and games keep kids engaged as they learn.
While screen time sometimes earns a bad rap from parents and teachers, access to high-quality learning content online and through apps can serve as a wonderfully positive tool to boost a child’s learning and increase their interaction both in class and at home. Discover all that Kids Academy has to offer and check out new ways to connect children with the modern tools they need to learn in today’s world!