As you probably know, teaching your children important lessons is not easy by any means. Educators are faced with the daunting task of being responsible for a classroom full of young, impressionable minds and ensuring that they learn and engage with the material that is presented to them. This task grows increasingly difficult as of late, with teachers having to adapt to tech-addled teens and children who are used to being entertained and occupied every waking moment.
It is hard to get students to sit still and appreciate the sciences and the arts or even retain basic, crucial lessons in a quiet environment that does not have even a tenth of the stimulation their smartphone or television could provide.
Fortunately, technology is proving to be more of a help than a hindrance when it is placed in the hands of creative, engaging educators. Some tools, many of them Internet-based, have the ability to transform a room full of glassy-eyed, bored pupils into a group of interested, engaged students who care about the lesson. Here are five technological tools that teachers are using to connect with your children.
1. Fun Brain
Fun Brain is an educational website that provides a number of valuable resources that teachers can add to their arsenal in the fight against boredom. The site primarily focuses on math, and even has a "Math Arcade" with flash games that will make even the most boring math concepts fun.
Many teachers, especially those in the social studies and government fields, have bemoaned the fact that school districts no longer require civics classes. There is also a growing need for learning material that is applicable in the real world and uses technology to make a difference. DoSomething.org is one such resource, dedicated to spreading information about important issues and causes to people of all ages. The site offers visitors the opportunity to sign petitions and donate to causes, allowing anyone who participates to make a difference.
Exploratorium brings out students' innate sense of curiosity and encourages them to investigate and ask questions about the world around them. Games and activities on the site make science interesting and fun!
4. Scholastic Kids Press Corps
The Scholastic Kids website provides students with news reported by kids just like them. Not only does the site give kids a desire to be informed about the world around them, it includes various games that tie in to the lessons.
MyBackPack allows you, the parent, to have more of a hands-on approach to your child's academics. With this service, you can check on grades, attendance, and assignments due-- all of the information is posted by your child's teachers. No more "report card lost in the mail" tricks!