Information and communications technology (ICT) has changed the landscape of the world. No area of life and living has escaped its tentacles. Education certainly has. Like any other field, education has had to adjust and metamorphose in accordance with how people live.
For example, while traditional paper books are not going extinct any time soon, there is no arguing the fact that a significant portion of people on the planet are changing their reading habits. With more and more people switching to consuming information on electronic devices, education simply must adjust. Be it desktops, laptops, tablets or smartphones, more people are consuming their content digitally. Even more important, they are spending their time on digital media.
As such, we must adapt to the changing landscape of how humans live. We must explore the worlds of e-books, audio books and visual aids in teaching our children. And as teachers and parents, we certainly must adapt to these if we must learn and keep up with the times ourselves.
The transition to digital learning is real and sweeping. What can we do to adapt and adjust?
- It is a good idea to expose our children to digital media as early as possible
- have a laptop (even if only a cheap, lower-end model) at home for the children to use
- if possible, have at least one tablet available for them to use as well.
Why are these recommended? Isn’t this sort of exposure dangerous for children? The exposure in itself does not have to be dangerous for the children, especially in our internet-connected age. Parents can monitor the use of these devices in order to restrict exposure to the dangerous part of the web.
But it is essential that children learn the skills that enable them to search out information by themselves. We used to have physical libraries filled with books. While they still exist in some areas, today’s library is digital. It is also global and almost limitless. Educating children without exposing them to this new reality early is the equivalent of educating children 30 years ago without exposing them to books.