The Importance of Including the Basics

We cannot deny that technology holds and will continue to hold a significant place in society, workplaces and our everyday lives. Considering this, it is necessary that our children learn to use and interact with various forms of technology to ensure their success in the future. Most parents have weighed the pro’s and con’s of screen time at home during leisure time, but may not have considered the impact of using technology for education. Technology should be integrated into school curriculum and at home learning in a way that enhances the experience and teaches life skills without hindering basic skills such as reading, writing and grammar. 
For most children technology is an easy way to find information on certain topics without having to use critical thinking. As role models, we need to make sure we are promoting critical thinking. For example, teaching them what is a reliable source and what is not. From there, a child will be able to start to develop their own thoughts, ideas and opinions. With technology being so widely available now, children have learned to search for their ideas on the internet. We want to continue to teach students to research and learn while still finding their own voice on a specific topic or idea. For older children, this begins the topic of plagiarism and the effects of copying someone else’s writing. 
Speech to text technology or the use of cut and paste for basic research should be intentionally used and limited for younger children. If used too often at a young age, children can fall behind in basic writing, sentence structure, spelling and understanding word definitions. Writing by hand is important for fine motor development and phonological awareness, which is a reliable predictor of later reading ability. Several studies have shown that individuals learn more and remember better when writing by hand. Writing engages children in thinking about the words, letters and phrases that they are communicating.
A lot of emphasis is put on reading, however reading also involves comprehension. Many children can memorize and recognize words which gives the appearance of comprehension, but struggle to recall the details of what they have read. This is where teaching our children to summarize information plays a major role. If the child begins critically thinking about their ideas and thoughts they will have more confidence in summarizing a text or information they have read.
If you are curious to know how your child is doing, ask them to read you a book or a passage out loud and then have them answer questions about the text they read. Next, ask them to write according to their ability starting with writing familiar sight words for the younger children up to full sentence answers to the questions they already verbalized. Communicate with your child’s educators about their progress and development of these critical skills. 

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