Embrace digital learning

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Embrace digital learning

With the end of the summer holidays drawing near, it’s time to start thinking about the new school year, but heading to your nearest bookstore to pick up the latest textbooks is becoming a thing of the past, as technology is replacing traditional ways of teaching and learning.

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Published: Tue 20 Aug 2013, 8:58 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:41 PM

Electronic devices in the classroom are slowly wiping out the need for pen and paper these days, as more teachers are now asking students to complete their homework by doing online research, and hand-in assignments electronically. Considering what a great learning resource the Internet is, digital devices have become an essential tool in life for students.

As the digital age takes hold, more and more educational facilities are introducing electronic devices into the classroom to aid students’ learning process, while slowly wiping out the need for paper, pens and books. — KT file photo

Parents are faced with the responsibility of selecting and providing the right devices for their kids as well as coaching them in using it properly. At the dawn of the Internet, it was billed as ‘the biggest library in the world’, and to some, it still remains that way today. But it is now, much more exciting and interactive. Kids can now use the online world to source information they would not find at school or in their local library, but it’s also used to connect with people with shared interests.

Of course, computers shouldn’t be used as a substitute for hands-on science experiments or day trips to the museum, but their usefulness as both a source of entertainment and a valuable collaborative and learning tool cannot be denied. The development a digital device can foster — whether a tablet, an Ultrabook or a laptop PC — goes way beyond the academic. So what are the learning opportunities?

Tech giant Intel has led a technology reform in schools across the Middle East, with more than one million teachers trained over the last 10 years. The company partners with the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), Abu Dhabi Education Council (Adec), and Mohammed bin Rashid Smart Learning Initiative on continuing programmes. -muaz@khaleejtimes.com

Tips from an Intel expert on fostering digital skills

Take a broad view of learning

Curriculum-related learning is really important, but so is learning to explore your interests and find like-minded people. The Internet offers today’s children opportunities, which no other generation has had. As a parent you need to encourage your child to explore.

Identify your child’s learning style

People learn in different ways and it’s important to adjust accordingly. Some are visual learners — they’ll learn best by watching video clips and viewing infographics. Others are kinesthetic learners that process knowledge through physical sensations. Learning with an Ultrabook or PCs that use touch, voice control and gesture recognition produce a really interactive experience well suited to this type of child. Kids that think in words are called auditory learners. They love listening to stories and podcasts so it makes sense to have a PC with an integrated speaker and high quality sound. Other children are logical learners that think conceptually, in patterns or with numbers.

Spend time online with your child

Just like in the offline world, kids love to do activities with their parents. Find learning-related projects and educational games, which you can do together.

Keep them safe

Children don’t always have the best judgment, and are naturally curious, so set up your PC to block access to unsuitable material. At the appropriate age, you’ll need to talk to them about cyber-bullying, online stranger danger and the potential risks of downloading apps from places they don’t know.

Choose the right device

And finally, make sure the device they use is up to the job. Part of the reason online educational resources are so engaging today is because they are interactive and use multi-media — that is images, video, voice, music but also lately, touchscreens and voice command.


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