The world we knew nearly a decade ago is not the same. Technology has changed almost every aspect of it. No matter what sort of a career we hope our children to thrive in, they’d need a solid base in some technologies in near future. No, they need not be programmers or hard core engineers necessarily but having basic tech know-how is an absolute must!
To begin with, parents should try exposing young kids to computers, gadgets and other such tools as early as possible. Yes, they will play games and do other seemingly meaningless things but then, they will also learn how to use a word processor, understand how to install an operating system or how to use the Internet to their advantage whether for career growth or day to day academic studies.
Here’re some useful tips on how you as a parent can get young kids excited about technology:
1. Look for natural interest and aptitude
Some children are naturally drawn towards sciences. Some get a concept in one go while others struggle at it.
You must have a clear assessment of the child’s weaknesses & his strengths; you should try and help him where he needs help to grow.
2. Cultivate interest for technology at home
Get the child into habit of viewing TV channels based on techno facts and science. Watch such movies with her or him and be open to questions.
Make it a quality viewing session and not like a task. Gather some creative ideas; plan small experiments and lab missions of your own. Search for sites on the internet focused on kids’ science/tech projects.
3. Look for a peer group with similar interests
Join any science or technology related sites or tech education groups on social networks. Have regular brain storming sessions with other parents. You can also take the help of teachers for this.
Get your child a membership of the local museum and participate in regular activities. For younger children, you can start with puzzles and blocks at home.
One way or the other makes science & technology a part of their daily lives.
4. Teach by live examples
Children always learn faster by real examples like electricity, water supply, working of cars etc. The child will soon learn the importance of various systems and their working; with time s/he will start co-relating the two. After the base is set, start giving examples of famous people who made it big in the field. Carr out a little research and help kids study the lives & works of some great personalities in the field of science and technology.
Let kids do the findings and then share the report with you. Remember to be supportive at all times.
5. Make inquiry a basis for all discoveries
Teach children the step by step process of discovery. Start by asking the questions, followed by observing and looking for answers. Base the finding on scientific reasoning and slowly, make a child understand how to arrive on a hypothesis. Curiosity will lead to natural interest and relevant questions popping up in young minds will soon result in healthy discussions.