Are computers just another distraction?
We don’t use computers of our own at Confidence Boost Tutoring. We believe that they are important tools for 21st Century learning, but a tool that needs to be used at home and school. Unless a child needs to use their laptop, we stick to pen and paper and interactive activities that build core skills and remove extra distractions. However, computers are perfect for research or online educational games and challenges. they make our lives easier, and current school children have a much better grasp on technology than almost everyone else in society. SO how do we manage it?
Computers are a double-edged sword in most homes. They make research and producing work infinitely easier, but they also contain the wonderful procrastination enablers of social media, games that are WAY cooler than school, and easy access to the latest gossip.
Thankfully, that same computer also has some clever tricks. Here are some of our favourites:
- Disable wireless: an oldie but a goodie! If the research is done, there’s no need to jump on the internet at all. Have a period of time where it’s switched off.
- Use a procrastination blocker: Strict Pomodoro is a great example of an app that can block all unnecessary sites (think gmail and Facebook). Download it for Internet Explorer, Safari, Firefox or Chrome and you’ll be able to set up a 20 on, 5 off method that gives children no access to fun sites for 20 minutes at a time (which is a also a great length of time to ‘sprint’ some work before a quick break).
- Use an electronic list: Todoist can sit on your child’s browser to let them know what tasks need to be completed.
- Shut it down! There’s nothing wrong with planning and drafting on paper. If the procrastination is out of control, try a couple of technology free homework sessions each week. Old-school, but worth it!
We love finding new tools and techniques that can make your child’s life easier. If you come across any new apps or sites, we’d love to hear about them! Karina and I are constantly sharing and swapping tips and new discoveries, and we always pass the best ones onto our students.