7 keys to meet the challenges of tablets and smartphones
In just a few years, tablets and mobile phones have become ever-present, and more and more children are using them at an increasingly younger age. These communication devices are technological wonders that enable many new uses, for example, access to knowledge and communication. However, they do bring with them their own new challenges.
Frantic use and even addiction, risks linked with harmful waves, the risk of harassment, isolation, diversion… Parents often feel ill equipped or overwhelmed by their children’s use of these devices.
As a software publisher and leader in educational mobile platforms, the team at eduPad is aware of its responsibility to tackle these everyday concerns regarding these new technological devices.
In order to better support both children and parents in terms of their use of tablets, mobiles and other devices, we propose to provide parents with some key benchmarks. This will enable them to confront the challenges of tablets and smartphones head on, by educating their children, and allowing them to make the most of these devices whilst being safe.
The 7 keys!
- Get to grips with wave exposure
- Educate your child about digital
- Manage the amount of screen time (mobiles)
- Use security programmes
- Communicate with your child
- Learn whilst playing with the use of digital
- Encourage positive use of devices
1. Get to grips with wave exposure
- Use the precautionary principal: limit exposure.
- Limit the number of devices.
- Move the devices (which emit harmful waves) away from beds and sofas etc.
- Store the phone in a bag.
2. Educate your child about digital
- Accompany a child under 9 years old when they are internet browsing.
- Explain what online advertising is.
- Explain why you should never install apps on your own.
- Explain why it’s important to protect your personal information.
- Explain that people can lie about their identity online.
- Define what harassment is.
3. Manage the amount of screen time (mobiles)
- Agree on a maximum usage time of devices. The timer on the clock app can come in handy here!
- Agree on all times when devices are allowed. Avoid use before bedtime.
- Discuss with the family how to share the devices between siblings.
- Beware of noise. Ensure to define an acceptable volume level, and reduce the amount of time spent wearing headphones.
- Turn off the device after use.
- Lead by example and don’t also be glued to your phone!
4. Use security programmes
These programmes allow for safe use via the following:
- Checks on purchases.
- Web access restriction to avoid inappropriate content.
- Social media regulation.
- App validation prior to first time use.
- Checks on contacts listed on devices as well as on authorised communications.
- Checks on device use i.e. they can limit the number of calls and texts per day, restrict usage times etc.
5. Communicate with your child
Ask your child to show you how the device works, how it plays etc. The aim is not to control your child’s device use (albeit a little) but to:
- Congratulate and encourage them on their creations.
- Encourage them to get to know what they like.
- Help them to discover other activities.
- Let them speak.
- Complete their education.
6. Learn whilst playing with the use of digital
Tablets and smartphones are not only designed to play on or to allow you to spend hours on social media! Your children can really benefit and enhance their learning through educational apps.
Thanks to technological advances in games, the actual learning process is much more fun and stimulating. Thanks to these devices, your child can benefit from tools which are educationally tailor-made, and which offer new types of materials best suited to your child’s specific needs. In turn, this means that your children can progress at their own pace, concentrate better, and have fun.
The various app stores all integrate categories such as ‘Education’ or ‘Learning’. This is a real gold mine from where you will find the app that will make them love equations or grammar!
7. Encourage positive use of devices
Here are some ways in which you can encourage your children to make the most of their screen time:
- Content creation
With all this media at their disposal, your children can easily create their own videos, photo montages and audio recordings. In short, they can create things around their feelings, and share them with the people who matter to them! They could create reports, scrapbooks and stories for example. It’s also a good way for them to create and express about what interests them.
- Spontaneous learning
Intuitive interface, unparalleled ergonomics, access to all types of knowledge; the tablet promotes spontaneous learning. With just a few clicks, your children can access a multitude of tools allowing them to learn more about their own interests, and to develop their passions. If you have managed to instil in your child the ‘desire to learn’, then you have cracked it!
- Communication with relatives
Do distance and meetings prevent you from engaging with your child? The smartphone is a good additional tool allowing you to maintain contact with your child and encourage communication.
Do they not yet know how to read or write? Again, the smartphone offers great opportunities in terms of their specially designed tools for children, enabling them to communicate safely and securely.
More information on these tools in a future post!