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How is Technology Affecting Learning in Children?

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I think it’s safe to say that technology has changed modern life. For better or worse, the progress of technology in the last 30 days has been staggering. A lot of you reading this might just have told Alexa to turn on the lights or asked Google “Do I need an umbrella?” However, technology is also shaping the way that children learn. The key question is, how is technology affecting learning in children and how can we mitigate against the worst effects whilst making the most of the best?

The studies about technology’s effect on physical and psychological health is well documented in the media. However it is also worth considering the effect technology has on the way children learn.

A 2010 study by Professor David Nicolas seemed to confirm issues for young people. The main issue was that they quite often skimmed through websites. His research showed that two minutes was considered a long time to spend on a website! For a lot of topics, this wouldn’t be long enough to garner information to help understand the content.

Children relying solely on the internet could leave gaps in a child’s knowledge or a rush to get through the work. Flicking between websites could mean a child misses key areas or doesn’t fully understand a topic.

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Learning in the Classroom

At Smart 11+ Tuition, we chose to make sure that our classroom was set up in a format that children would feel comfortable in. They have a teacher and a whiteboard and used pens and workbooks. We do use tablets for the working material in order to cut down on paper usage, but we very much believe in a traditional approach to teaching.

In business terms, it would almost be better for us to just run a computer-based learning program rather than using qualified teachers. We’d cut down on staff costs and other resources. However, we know the biggest asset in a children’s learning is the teacher. Computer programs can’t be flexible to a child who needs more support. They can’t offer sympathetic and focused support to a child who is struggling with a problem. Computers can’t adapt quickly when a child is finding work too easy. Finally, talking to a children builds skills which go much further than the 11+. Children gain confidence in talking to adults and using traditional writing mediums.

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Where Can Technology Help?

As part of a classroom in the 21st century, technology is unavoidable. As we’ve said, we use tablets for storing all of our learning material. We also have our award-winning online learning platform for homework. Quantitive assessment is also completed using the data from this program to regularly check the progress of our learners.

We believe that teacher-led, personal tuition is the best way for a parent to be assured their child is getting a tailored learning experience. Instead of technology affecting learning, it should be there to enhance learning. The most important thing for us is that we can build confidence in our pupils.

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