By Guest Author
Homeschooling technology is one section where some families struggle. While technology is embedded in our everyday lives and plays an essential role in education, it can be hard to figure out how and why to teach it to children. Let’s explore below some of the reasons you need to homeschool technology!
Basic Computing Knowledge Technology
In the modern workforce, companies will expect students to be well versed in all sorts of software. Some examples include Microsoft Office, Zoom, Google Drive, email suites, and more. These programs are used almost universally in workplaces and colleges; therefore, having a good understanding of them is important. If you know how to use the programs, make sure you set time aside to teach your child(ren) how to use these. Thankfully, if you’re not familiar with them, there are many free tutorials available to educate both teachers and students.
Encourage your children to practice by through homeschool technology activities like:
- Emailing friends and family. Encourage them to add pictures and other attachments to become comfortable with those features.
- Write reports on Microsoft Word or Google Documents.
- Create spreadsheets with Microsoft Excel or Google Spreadsheets.
- Use video conferencing programs like Zoom or Google Hangout to talk to friends, family, and groups. Encourage them to lead a call, present information, and practice sharing their screen and giving instructions.
Help Your Homeschool Develop High-Technology Skills
Of course, there is more to homeschooling technology than emails, video calls, and word processing. Today’s world is powered by computers, tablets, and phones, which will only increase in the future. This means that career fields like coding, automating, and programming will be even more predominant and offer high-paying job opportunities. The ability to code is a prerequisite for many career fields. Everything from websites, video games, art, music, retail, and many other areas rely on computer code in some way. Thankfully, free or low-cost online programs on these subjects can be incorporated into a homeschool technology curriculum. Students can complete these on their own time, or the courses can be done as a group with friends.
Related to coding, robotic process automation (RPA) is a significant and up-and-coming technology trend. Today, everything from finance to healthcare is becoming automated in some shape or form. Automation is helping to improve business processes and our lives, by streamlining tasks and improving efficiencies. Automation is an in-demand skill. Therefore, students who have basic knowledge of automation and can build RPA bots have a leg up against others during college or job applications.
Media Literacy In Homeschool Technology
Another vital aspect to include in homeschooling technology is media literacy. Cyberattacks occur every day and cause damage to countless corporations and individuals. Although there is no foolproof way to prevent these, several steps to mitigate cybersecurity threats can be taken. It is essential to teach your children how to install antivirus programs on devices and remind them not to give out secure information. You should also help them learn how to be aware of phishing scams.
Beyond cybersecurity, social media has its fair share of risks. Make sure to teach general internet safety. Remind your homeschoolers that everything on the internet is permanent, and future employers, co-workers, friends, and family members can see what they post on social media.
Non-Screen Activities To Teach Technology Skills
While we need to educate with an emphasis on technology, that doesn’t mean kids should spend all day staring at a screen. This may sound counter-intuitive, but there are several ways to help homeschoolers develop the skills they need to succeed without involving a screen.
The National Center for Women and Information Technology offers a free “CS in a Box” download that helps children learn computer science skills using pencil and paper. Many other sites that offer free or low-cost activities that parents can print out and add to their homeschool technology curriculum. Additionally, children can practice the needed skills of logic and creativity without a screen with educational toys like blocks, LEGOs, and games like chess.
Modern homeschooling is cutting edge and a great way to ensure your children receive a proper, well-rounded education. However, the skills students must learn to succeed have changed significantly in the last 20 years. As a parent and teacher, change can be hard but with these resources and tips, you can homeschool technology, learn together, and help your child learn the skills they need to thrive as an adult.
About The Author
Marie Johnson a UX designer and freelance writer hailing from New York City. Marie especially enjoys writing about how technology and business are changing the world we live in. During her free time, she enjoys being outdoors, trying new coffee shops, and playing with her dog, Ozzy. Marie also enjoys reading and spending time with friends.