Would you consider investing in an iPad for your baby, toddler, pre-schooler or young child? You should as it could be a tremendous asset to your kid and save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Common Sense media reports that among 0 to 8-year olds, a quarter or 27% of their screen time is spent on digital devices such as video iPods, iPad-style tablet devices and phones. It also reports that half (52%) of all children have access to one of the newer devices at home and more than a quarter (29%) of all parents have downloaded “apps” (applications used on mobile devices) for their children to use.
The benefits of apps are endless as there are thousands of excellent free to low cost educational applications that you can download and use to instruct your children.
Further, several apps and services sell the traditional and most popular story books at a steep fraction of the price as a hardback or soft cover book. A typical board book costs $5.99 and a typical story book $9.99 but the same books can cost as low as $.99 cents. You can amass a significant library for fraction of the costs.
During my visit to the OneEconomy Corporations Educational Expo last month, I discovered several digital tools that could benefit parents:
1. Footsteps2Brilliance is an early learning academic language program for students to help accelerate language acquisition, vocabulary and reading for Pre-K to 2nd grade students by connecting school and home through mobile gain platform. It has various programs including interactive ebooks, games, teacher planning tools and progress tracking tools. Pre schoolers at California’s Calistoga Elementary School, with children who were learning English as a second language used the software from 4 weeks. Their reading comprehension increased from 58.5 percent to 76.4 percent in that one month. The program provided kids an average of 31 books and exposed them to 9,800 vocabulary words, said Eugene Narcisco, Footsteps 2 Brilliance Chief Operations Officer. “What you’re seeing here is a great example of a grassroots public-private partnership that makes transformation possible and can be a model for all of California,” said Dorothy Salmon, a board member of NapaLearns which donated the IPads. “Every community has this potential and can use technology as an innovative tool with a great curriculum.”
2. Partner with Great Schools and College Bound offer an award winning online parents support program for parents who want to set their kids on the path to academic success. Using vibrant and easy-to-use animated lessons, the software teaches parents how to reinforce what their kids are learning at school, ways to address behavioral and academic issues from homework woes to cyber-bullying, time management issues and teacher respect. It also provides strategies for talking with teachers and making sure their children get the resources they need. For example, in one lesson it instructs parents to avoid labels such as “you are so lazy and irresponsible” and to replace them with words like “you are so smart.” The overall benefit is that is motivates parents to work with their children at home. Parents learn not to argue with their kids and to be more calm during homework time.
3. CommonSensemedia offers a FREE online digital literacy and citizenship curriculum to kindergarten to 12 graders to teach them safety security, digital citizenship using teacher tested, video-rich, practical and fun videos and real-world scenarios. The purpose of the service is to guide children who each day post, chat, text, download and update their profiles. It teaches them not to cyber bully or borrow excessively when doing online research.
When properly harnessed, and using these three services, for example, parents can grown digitally literate, savvy and super smart kids from birth to high school graduation!
[And if you want to raise brilliant future Mensah kids, a friend of mine whose child is 3 and doing algebra and could read at age 2 recommends the curriculum from Gentile Revolution Press, Usborne, TestingMom and The Well Trained Mind]
Learn about College Bound’s success stories