That a PC is necessary for a child’s education in the digital age is a given. Schools are increasingly asking for more digital involvement from students – Internet research for projects, presentations made in Power Point, spreadsheets with graphs and charts etc. Fewer libraries also implies more dependence on Google as an encyclopedia. The PC is here to stay and remains an extremely effective tool for knowledge enhancement. Now the key question that remains is how effectively are we actually able to use it.
At a recent panel discussion on ‘PC as a gateway for learning for future generations’ organised by Dell India, experts from the fields of both, technology and education got together with the parenting community.
Don’t let the bits and bytes scare you: Sanchit Vir Gogia, Founder & CEO, Greyhound Research quoted an important finding from the PC User Trends of Emerging India, that 89% of parents have a fear that they will not able to guide kids into the tech world. Totally believable since most of us are so unsure about how we parent in any sphere, why just the tech world! So if you feel intimidated by computers and the Internet, know that you are not alone. With a little bit of understanding, you’ll know that the bits don’t bite and once you build in adequate safety measures and regular monitoring, it is quite safe for your child too.
It is a smart device – appreciate it: Some more statistics from Greyhound Research show that digital devices seem to be the new toys that parents shower kids with for various reasons in Tier 1 cities. If given as a toy, it will be treated as one – used more for entertainment than for learning. Parents have to spearhead a change in this mentality, help children appreciate devices for their educative benefits as much as the entertainment quotient, separating the sense of entitlement from a sense of value.
Bridge the gap: You know what information you need, you know where to get it from and also how to get it. What is left is being able to use that information effectively. ‘Putting it into context’ is the gap, as Sanchit pointed out.