Expand Your Horizons: How to Make Learning through Digital Media Work for Your ChildJul 14th, 2012 | By Jessica Parnell | Category: Featured Articles, Learning Through Digital Media
It truly is a judgment call for parents to decide how much time a child should spend involved with learning through digital media. Some educations are gained entirely online – and it can be an effective way to learn. Yet the question remains, “How much time should a child spend outside exploring and playing?” Striking that balance can be hard. The “old school” in us is hard to let go.
Digital Media Is Here To Stay
This is a fact, not a fad, and if we keep our kids from learning as quickly as technology advances, we are doing them a great disservice. Digital media is increasingly common in children’s educational settings, both in homeschool settings and in traditional classrooms – becoming as familiar as pencils and notebooks were to their parents. The wisest of educators are increasingly using digital media and interactive practices to engage their students through natural curiosity and creative thinking. Digital media can also allow our homeschooled students to become civically active, participate in political commentary, as well as permitting them to collaborate with peers across the country or even worldwide.
Empowerment Means Freedom of Choice in Learning
So what excites your child or student, and can be explored or shared with peers in a digital format? Let’s look at some great resources for you to start with.
Peer-to-Peer Collaboration. Students can share and comment on each others’ written work. Such collaborative writing works well in the context of smaller, seminar-style courses. Students can share their essays and leave comments on a specific paragraph (e.g., Google Docs).
- http://mixedink.com – Can turn any writing assignment into a fun social collaboration!
- http://writer.zoho.com – Easily share your documents online, with friends on an individual basis and in groups. Collaborate on them in real time.
- https://docs.google.com – Google Drive gives you a suite of editing tools that makes working together better—even when your teammates are cross-country.
Learn to Give an Outstanding Presentation. Would your child benefit from learning to utilize online resources to put together a nice presentation using various forms of media without the struggle involved with trying to battle old technology? Check these resources out.
- http://prezi.com/ – Make your presentations ZOOM with this awesome free tool. Use the prezi canvas to visualize your ideas and collaborate across time zones.
- http://animoto.com/ -Turn your photos, video clips, and music into stunning video masterpieces to share with everyone. Fast, free, and shockingly easy!
- http://www.zentation.com/ – Combines video and slides to create online presentations that best simulate the live experience. Easily create high-end webinars, webcasts, e-learning, training and virtual events.
Play With the Big Screen. Let your child get creative with the use of screencasts to narrate and record short screen interactions and learn through quick walk-through software demonstrations. Some are free, and some have fees involved – depending on the level of quality.
- http://www.techsmith.com/jing.html -Create images and videos of what you see on your computer screen, and then share them instantly!
- http://www.screenr.com/ – Instant screencasts using a web-based screen recorder that you can create and share in a snap – even on an Iphone!
Live Video and Chat with Other Students. If you have a homeschool group, or wish to collaborate with other parents and homeschooled students, it’s inspiring for students who share a course, curriculum, or topic to do it live – with instant feedback.
- http://skype.com/intl/en-us/home – Talk face to face with live video – for free!
- http://www.google.com/talk/ – Chat within Gmail, iGoogle, and orkut, with a video chat plug-in.
Embrace the New
From classroom to mall, and all across the country, students are utilizing digital media as a means of connecting, communicating, creating, and learning with amazing advances in technology. Should your homeschool family be on board as well?
“If we teach today’s students as we did yesterday’s, we are robbing them of tomorrow.”
~ John Dewey
Additional homeschooling posts:
Homeschooling Questions? We’ve Got Help on the Way!
Parents Find Homeschool Answers Through Bridgeway’s Help Hotline The decision to homeschool can be an enormous step.
Homeschool Know-How: Identify Your Child’s Learning Style – Today
Children Should Be Taught According to Their Individual Learning Style, or They May Miss the Point Entirely Do you recall ninety percent of the information you were taught during the grade school years? How about fifty? Twenty? The teaching methods utilized in traditional education settings were – and in many cases still are – the general auditory lecture, supported by some text, the occasional picture, and good old rout memorization.