1. Children are motivated when learning on computers. It’s what they’re familiar with because most children use computers and technology for fun. Using technology to learn is second nature to kids in this day and age.
2. There is so much easy-to-access information for learning on the internet for children and parents to access at home. The Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org) has thousands of online tutorial videos that 1 million students are accessing every month.
3. Students can easily collaborate on projects and documents using email, Google docs, blogs, etc. All free and all very easy to use and access.
4. Students can be exposed to more global thinking and awareness than ever before. Skype into classrooms around the world, Ted talks (which I show my students at the beginning of every class), the internet makes the world a lot more accessible, with video especially.
5. Children can learn better communication skills by learning from an early age how to use computers and technology: email, blogging, etc. It can be very exciting for students to learn that their voice can be heard very easily through technology.
6. Innovation with technology is exploding around the world: 3D printing for example, Google has put out a $25,000 autocad software design program for free with video tutorials and children as young as 8 years old can learn how to use it to design simple projects which can be printed off. Think lego pieces! Here is a video of an inventor, Tom Haan, explaining 3D printing to elementary students.
7. Educational apps, software and websites are everywhere. Sure, let your son or daughter use your iPhone to play, but make sure that they use educational games as much as possible. Make up a reward system for it. They get to play for fun after they play for a certain amount of time on an educational site or app.
8. Learning with educational technology NOW gives students a head start in a world where technology has become ubiquitous in our society. If they aren’t using it now for purposes other than just playing, how will they catch up when it is required in secondary education and in the real world?