Tech advancements are inherently meant to make life easier for us. It’s only when we abuse it or become obsessed with it that it can become a toxin to our health. In today’s age, however, young students are becoming more engrossed with technology — toeing the line between obsession and general interest in technology.
Our aim as educators and tech enthusiasts should be to harness new technology for its potential and leverage it for why it was created – to make life easier and solve our problems.
Through education technology, we can lead our young student generations to learn more in a faster, more cohesive method that promotes healthy living.
As most students can attest, one of the largest ways technology has taken over their lives is through the advent and evolution of e-learning. More students have learned to adapt to remote digital learning, which for many students, has opened the door for their own potential.
There’s an ever-growing wealth of online resources that can serve to support growing minds and keep them healthy. For example, the CDC has instituted a program called BAM!, which marries mental learning with physical education.
Likewise, sites like Health for Kids! aim to provide evidence-based learning tools, games, and modules to young students in a virtual space about health subjects. Both of these resources will provide young students the knowledge base they need to stay healthy for years to come — all while playing fun games and learning exercises.
Health and Self-Care Education Through EdTech
One of the center-focused initiatives of edTech for young learners is to highlight the importance of self-care and the fundamentals of healthy living habits, including hygiene, mental health, and physical wellness
Now, there are more health-oriented apps today that equip students with the know-how to take care of themselves. A major component of this is understanding their health needs, the solutions for those needs, and how to access them. It’s worth exploring the options available and finding the right topic that’s pertinent for your student.
Gamification in Health and Learning
You may have heard of the old term “Edutainment,” coined by Walt Disney in 1954. The classic hybrid of education and entertainment that, when mixed, should politely deceive the user that they’re pleasurably consuming something that might’ve originally been unattractive to them.
In most cases, educational games fit the bill for edutainment. The ‘90s bore some of the first pioneering educational video games like Math Blasters, Jumpstart, and Carmen Sandiego. Each of them emphasized teaching a specific topic while managing to be engaging and immensely fun for kids.
Fast forward thirty years later, and edTech has made leaps and bounds to improve upon the medium we loved then. Apps like Zombies, Run! are the perfect example of what we should strive to emulate with education. In this case, it’s a physical wellness app that motivates users to improve their health by running, but with the added stimulation of zombies chasing them.
It became an instant hit with its users, fostering an audience that used the app for both its entertainment quality and the ability to convince them to exercise while being entertained.
Preparing Students For the Real World
Perhaps one of the best areas of potential for edTech is the utility in preparing students for the real world after they complete their schooling.
Virtual reality technology can simulate real-world scenarios to help students anticipate and acclimate to situations that will likely arise in their day-to-day life — situations that they may not know how to handle without the proper guidance. These may vary from navigating taxes to handling difficult personal relationship conflicts.
What’s more, new technology is not only useful for students in the here and now, but by understanding technology sooner, students will become more accustomed to newer technology at a faster pace in ten or twenty years. The more foundation of technology they have now, the stronger they’ll be in the future.
Beyond that, however, health education can inspire students to pursue a higher healthcare education and career, thus combatting current shortages of informed and educated healthcare workers. With a record level of nurses, doctors, and other healthcare professionals alike leaving the profession, there is more demand than ever before for younger generations to take their place.
Pulling It All Together
We have a duty to our succeeding generations to encourage and reinforce them to help us build into the future of technology.
Consider that we’ve achieved a great feat in being able to access the technology we currently have. If we’re not proactive at arming the next generations with what we’ve created, then we risk generational and technological stagnation.
Again, the overall purpose of advancement is to make life easier for all of us, and that’s what we have at our fingertips. We only have to put forth the effort to tap into it!