Parent Involvement in Technology

New technology has become widely available to people across different age groups, but younger children in particular are growing more technologically savvy than ever before. A recent poll conducted by JumpStart® gives insight into what kinds of technology children are most interested in. Among these, different smart phones, tablets, and other technology brands were mentioned to be most commonly desired by children.

Devices such as smart phones, tablets and computers have created a portable and accessible way to find information. Moreover, our increasingly technology-driven society has opened up the gates for a plethora of applications, games, and social sites. Educational children’s entertainment has also developed rapidly in recent years, with a variety of smart phone apps, online games, and activities for children to engage in.

In the midst of technological advances in the field of children’s education, there are some key questions that come to light — how can parents tell what kind of progress their children are making while they play with apps and games, and is it safe or effective for children to play with recent technologies?

Parents want nothing more than for their children to be benefiting from the activities that they participate in, but it is difficult to keep track of this progress by simply asking the child. Companies such as Fingerprint Digital, Inc. have provided a way for parents to receive direct progress reports on their child’s learning. This concept opens up a way for parents and kids to interact on a different level; as kids play the educational games and apps they want, parents get to see the direct effects through detailed reports on their child’s progress. Parents can maintain a guarded distance from their child as they play and learn, but they can still actively involve themselves in the learning and assessment process.

Developments in technology have also led to advancements in security measures. One of the key functions for any parent to look out for in their technology is the parent’s ability to limit or allow the things that their child does. Many online sites and apps have provided parents with the ability to set their own preferences against their child’s preferences; that is, parents get to decide what their children see or do not see, play or do not play. Web browsers, television sets, and other forms of technology have these options, and they give parents a way to put some safe and reasonable limits to an otherwise boundless world of online and technological communications. Internet filter software programs such as Net Nanny® Parental Controls, CYBERsitter®, and McAfee Safe Eyes® are among some of the leading programs in the field, and individual games and apps may provide some parental preferences.

Although the new technology is seemingly boundless, there are still ways for parents to remain aware of what their children are doing. Parents have a wide array of technologies at their disposal, just as their children do, and it can be used for the purposes of assessing their child’s learning and protecting them from threats that may exist on the web.

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