There are many resources available to help your child learn, but did you know your smartphone can be one of them? Technology will play an important role in the classroom as more effective resources and aids are developed and made accessible. When it comes to reinforcing what they learn at school, a smartphone can actually be an incredibly powerful tool at home.
For younger children, use of a smartphone can actually be helpful in their early developmental years when they are just becoming familiar with numbers and spelling. By allowing your child to practice dialing and calling numbers, you are helping to reinforce number recognition and memorization. This will help them establish a better foundation for identifying patterns and remembering mathematical facts.
By allowing your child to text family members on your phone, you are helping them practice spelling and the use of proper language. Parents can model correct grammar and spelling for their children by texting them back and having them read it. This is hardly the most traditional way to practice writing and understanding language, but it is an incredibly accessible way to keep them thinking.
Apps & Games
While you might want to limit your child’s time in front of a screen, a smartphone can be an effective tool for learning without them even realizing it. There are many games available in the app store that actually serve as a learning tool first, and a game second. Disney and Sesame Street offer fun and familiar faces in their apps while helping your child learn their letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. For more advanced kids, many apps help teach basic math, science, and reading skills as well. Even the less educational games offer your child a chance for them to use their mind to fulfill quests and solve puzzles, while also teaching them valuable lessons.
Outside of games, a smartphone still has much to offer. Downloading helpful resources and tools can be very useful to young students while they do their homework. Every phone should come with their own calculator app, but you can also download dictionaries, encyclopedias, and even customizable apps that allow them to create their own flash cards. Many of these resources can also be updated to add new information, unlike printed books that need to be replaced.
Technology can also have a very helpful effect on your child’s reading abilities. While many use tablets to read e-books, smartphones can be just as useful when it comes to your children. Many companies, including Disney and Scholastic, have made their libraries available in the app store, complete with illustrations and narration to help children read and understand what they learn. There are even original publications made specifically for digital.
Technology can also be used to help in a different way. Level It Books has an app that allows you to scan the ISBN of any book and it will tell you the Lexile, Guided Reading, and DRA levels of the book. The app also makes suggestions based on your child’s reading level. Tools like this can be helpful to children in the classroom or at home, but there is one more way a phone can help your child.
Smartphones make it easier than ever to take home videos of your children, so why not use it to help them learn? Some children can be shy about reading in front of other people, but if they are given the chance to watch themselves read, confidence can blossom. By filming them as they read, kids get a chance to see how they do and where they can improve without you ever needing to enforce it. The more they watch themselves reading, the easier it becomes for them to evaluate their own performance and build their fluency.