Education in the Information Age
If you can't beat them, join them.
The quote above, sums up what education has become in the world we live in.
I’ve had several conversations with many parents, and from these conversations, the underlying concern is that “children consume too much multimedia and this, is a huge problem”. This then begs the question on why adults should have problems with the time kids spend playing games or watching TV instead of lack of socialization and normal physical development?
When these parents give me their answers, the question I often ask is whether they have provided any solution to this troubling issue? Of course, some of them mentioned that they redirect their kids to nature, excursions and common activities. This according to them has proven to be exhausting for parents who engage in it, and mission impossible for others because they hardly have the time to monitor the kids when they go for these activities as a result of their everyday business activities.
Unfortunately, many gaming platforms frame their business models in kids being addicted to multimedia, so they release more games in cartoon smooth leads and with addictive tendencies. In the long run, you will discover that even when these games come free, they are not actually free..
Amazon, stepped in to correct the anormalies of kids having addictive tendencies towards online gaming platforms by placing a limit on the time kids spend online. A pretty good trial from Amazon I must say but definitely not enough to correct these anormalies in their entirety.
So, is there another result oriented way to redirect enormous hourly consumption on multimedia platforms into other areas. For example, say to education for the purpose of increasing learning?
Of course, as a matter of fact, there are some very nice examples on youtube of educating materials through cartoons starting from those at toddler level to older children. However, the major challenge with this, is that the whole Youtube environment, was framed around a business model that is not friendly to children education. This is because it is quite easy for kids to switch from educating channels on youtube, to other multimedia channels.
When we look at this, it is important for us to know that the Information Age (as the world we live in today is fondly called) is fast-paced, as a matter of fact, it operates on an increasingly complex and fast evolving environment where people struggle to keep up with its pace. But in as much as we struggle with the pace of our developing world, there’s a silver lining to the whole situation, and this silver lining is that the generation of kids born into this digital age, catch on fast and are more easily acquainted with what the latest technology can offer them, and lately, these kids can even benefit immensely from an educational standpoint of what the digital world offers.
How Technology is Streamlining Education
One of the oldest tech-related myths is crumbling and fading right now, and it is the myth that technology and video games distract from serious stuff, like education. However, recent studies and observations of young students paint the opposite picture and the picture painted is that modern technology, and yes, even video games can be better streamlined to education.
Kids who use learning apps, who are exposed to the right kind of online media and who even play a moderate amount of video games on a regular basis can develop skills such as hand to eye coordination, space orientation, literacy and even social skills in this information age. When you now add these aspects with the fact that creativity gives a boost in kids who are exposed to virtual creativity in the forms of video games and online media, then voila! you have a recipe for success. But why and how do these activities help in developing such skills?
Let’s start off with the physical skills: space orientation, hand to eye coordination and reflex training. These are all skills a kid need to properly play any game on their devices. Most games require speed, fast thinking, a good hand to eye coordination and decision making at the speed of thought. All of these skills are what adults used in developing a very strong personality. Therefore, if kids can develop this at their tender age, it means they’ll enjoy a lifetime of having these skills at their disposal.
Moving on from the physical aspect to the cognitive aspect, where we have creativity, literacy, social skills and general educational benefits. These skills are offered on gaming platforms such as teaching apps, online media and video games.
Creativity is a huge part of storytelling, and a good game will almost always rely on a good story. Igniting the imagination of kids can and will usually lead them towards being more inclined to read and the available gaming platforms can ensure this. Social skills on the other hand, are also involved in online media consumption – they relate and emphasize with people talking about certain things; and in online gaming sessions where they need to cooperate with other players in order to achieve a specific goal. Last, but certainly not the least, general educational benefits can be drawn from educational programs and you can find these programs all over the place these days at no cost.
So, if you still have any doubts about what the digital age can do for your child, then you should immediately erase the doubt. Start using learning apps, online media and virtual resources to your advantage right away, and give your kids a boost in their educational process.
Just so you know, we are totally against the uncontrolled and unimpeded use of media especially in the early development phase of a child's life, it could be devastating for children's development if this is allowed. However, we stand for the use of the best, the media has to offer – to use it appropriately and redirect children wandering and attention grabbing wonders on net into skills developing opportunities.
Let's make the hidden, dangerous and uncontrolled “weapon” as many believe gaming to be, into a beneficial education tool serving as skills boosters for our kids.