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In this world of ever-growing digital technologies, tech-ed has incredible benefits for kids. It’s also become the norm for many kids across the country, largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic. While most children have returned to in-person learning, some schools still offer virtual options, and many kids/parents have chosen to remain virtual.
Edtech allows for more flexibility and can help each student hone in on their personal learning styles.
But, as more kids of all ages become used to utilizing technology in their educational careers, it’s important to keep them engaged and set healthy boundaries. Doing so will allow them to get the most out of their education and take advantage of the benefits tech-ed has to offer.
With that in mind, what can you do to keep your child engaged in their education while setting limits for their technology use?
Encouraging Good Study Habits
When your child is learning at home, it’s easy to fall into bad habits quickly. If you’ve ever done any remote work, that’s easier to understand. Now, imagine being a kid and having to sit in one place and look at a computer all day.
Getting distracted is the easiest “trap” to fall into. Your child might start to daydream or think about the toys in their room. They might grab their smartphone and start texting friends or watching videos. Obviously, those aren’t conducive habits when it comes to studying and getting their classwork done.
So, what can you do to encourage healthy study habits? Try some of the following tips:
- Set up a distraction-free “classroom” or office space in the home
- Set realistic expectations for your child depending on their age
- Let them work independently
- Set reasonable goals
It’s also important to determine how your child works best. Keeping them focused on one lesson for too long might make it easier for them to get distracted and bored. So, consider using a multi-faceted approach based on their needs and learning abilities. Utilize technology to your advantage to make sure everything they need is accessible to them.
Take Frequent Breaks
It might seem like encouraging breaks throughout the day would cause your child to lose focus. But, it could end up doing just the opposite. Breaks give your child the chance to burn some energy and feel rewarded for the work they’ve done. Think about the things they value the most and offer them as incentives. For example, if your child wants to text their friends, give them a fifteen-minute “tech break” after completing a lesson.
It’s also important to make sure your child isn’t sitting in one place all day. Encouraging them to spend some time outside or doing an activity away from digital devices will help to boost their energy, improve their mood, and help to fight off fatigue. Even exercise can help to improve focus. Your child is less likely to get distracted and feel burnt out when they’ve had some time to move around. Spend some time each day moving your body with them, and you’ll both be able to enjoy a fun, energizing workout.
In some cases, a digital detox can be the most beneficial thing for your tech-ed learner. If your child spends most of their days in front of a digital device, stepping away for a while can reduce their stress levels, improve their outlook, and allow them to return to their schoolwork with more focus and dedication.
Set Boundaries at Home
One of the best things you can do for your child using tech-ed is to make sure it’s only one small section of their life. If they sleep in, get on the computer whenever they want, and stay there all day, you’re not setting healthy boundaries for their learning. More importantly, you’re not setting healthy boundaries for their well-being.
If you’re not sure how to set healthy boundaries for your child, try some of the following ideas:
- Set a daily schedule (and adjust as necessary)
- Make sure they’re getting quality nutrition to boost their attention span
- Ensure they get enough sleep
- Dedicate a room/space for schooling and nothing else
While online learning provides a lot of flexibility, it’s far too easy for your child to take things too far. Even kids need a healthy work-life balance, and it’s up to you to guide them through it. Setting specific school hours, having a dedicated workspace, and making sure they have the resources and items they need to be successful each day will help them make the most of their tech-ed experience.
Virtual learning is here to stay and will only continue to grow and advance. Whether your child is currently taking advantage of ed-tech or you plan on making a switch in the future, keep them engaged in their work while setting necessary boundaries with these helpful tips and ideas.