Reading books used to be a norm at a particular time. At this time, everyone loved books – little children, youths, adults, and even the senior citizens. Reading stories to children before they sleep was enjoyed by both the reader and the child.
Eventually, when these children begin to grow up, they start reading by themselves and there is no doubt that reading helps to improve their imagination. It also brings out the creativity in them.
As they grow up to become youths, books help them emerge into society. By reading books, they can choose a career path that they want to follow and learn about it. Books also help them learn more about the world and everything around it.
Reading has proven to help people increase their attention span which according to the American Academy of Pediatrician will improve reading scores and increase the number of high school graduates. Looking back at this time, in comparison with how children have replaced books and occupied their hands with gadgets, the evolution from reading and addiction to digital gadgets has become a concern.
While adults are discussing what to do with children who are so attached to gadgets, children grow up, and at some point, their connection with IT becomes vital. At the same time, parents find themselves in a kind of trap. Having missed the moment when their child plunged headlong into digital, adults begin to act very contradictorily. This article will discuss how early literacy habits can be promoted even in a digitally-driven world.
The problem to solve
When children stay glued to digital gadgets, what could be the possible cause(s)? How is this cause addressed? Many parents do not understand and do not know how to respond to such hobbies of the child properly. They compare their childhood experience and expect the child to behave or act the way they acted decades ago.
However, times have changed and if properly managed, early literacy can be promoted through digital devices. Children can be taught to read and read for long using these devices so it is not enough to conclude that the devices are not being properly used.
Indeed, one cannot rely on one’s own childhood experience in this situation. But repressive measures are in use – the seizure of gadgets, limiting the time spent at the computer or on the Internet.
For example, in England, according to a study by the Pew Research Center, more than half of parents do this. But the popularity of such methods does not at all indicate their effectiveness. This is a dead-end road. Punished children withdraw into themselves, while forbidden “technologies” attract them even more than before. As a result, there are problems with parents, especially when it comes to teenagers.
Don’t rely on school
The development of digital literacy was publicly discussed more than ten years ago. In this case, it is often about how to “Google” correctly and about network security. The issues of digital creativity, the creation of your content, and the formation of competencies are practically not touched upon. In such a situation, relying only on the school curriculum is not worth it. You cannot leave the practice of digital literacy for schools to teach these children.
Does the child spend the most time on the computer at school? No, but at home, in front of your eyes. This means that whatever habits that children develop from their involvement with digital tools will be learned from home.
So, if you want to teach your children to read hard copy books instead of using computer devices, that’s a choice you have to make. Still, it is necessary to form the so-called digital skills in children. It is the key to their future competitiveness, success, and solvency. And parents are primarily interested in providing all the conditions for their formation!
What to do for parents and what skills to develop
Seizing gadgets from children or limiting the time that they have to spend using these gadgets will not motivate them to read books. No, it won’t. You only make them angry and push them to make irrational decisions. There are other things that can be done and as was mentioned before, you can also take advantage of their affinity with digital materials and use it for their benefit. From the punishment and control model, one can move to a joint acquaintance with the IT world and form digital intelligence.
The basic skills necessary for a comfortable existence in the era of ubiquitous penetration of technology and the Internet are Digital identity, digital literacy, digital rights, digital emotional intelligence, digital communications, digital security, and digital time management.
Even full-fledged archivers or a free zip file opener that allow you to unpack and create archives is also a kind of digital literacy. Behind each application, website, program, or another tool, there are possibilities to which children are now attracted, like a magnet. You should not forcefully limit this impulse just because you are afraid of their influence.
To begin with, parents need to realize that the Internet and gadgets are, first of all, tools that you need to know how to use. Otherwise, the world of technology and the Internet become a kind of information centrifuge. When you know how to use the internet and other digital devices you can set parental control to filter the information that the child is exposed to while using these materials.
These tools can benefit your children’s learning and growth as well. Many communication apps can be used to talk with their friends or even with their parents. Kids can also make videos and images and through file-sharing platforms and file transfers, they can share their creativity and their originality with other people.
Think about investing in their skills
If you are still for a constructive approach, you can turn a child’s hobby into a profession. It has become much easier to discern a vocation in innocent fun. Everyone is allowed to create in the digital world without age restrictions, while the resulting work can compete with the projects of professionals.
Take out time to discover your child’s hobbies and research ways that you can make a career from these hobbies for the child. The financial prospects in the digital world are so vast that most of them have not been explored. You can make thousands or even millions of dollars from sitting at your computer so do not discourage that child, rather help and guide them to use these devices the right way.
Practical tips for improving digital literacy
First, evaluate the knowledge that you already have. Analyze what you already know-how. Know how to use MS Office? Do you know what a browser is? Differing Python from C ++? Great, the information received will be your starting point. Then look around and select a few digital areas that you and your child might be interested in. Do you like the idea of creating websites? Maybe you want to make great presentations? Or are you interested in artificial intelligence?
Now you know in which direction to move on. Like any skill, digital skills cannot be acquired without practice, which means that the time has come to delve into the chosen area and take the first steps in it. Connect with people from your area of interest. Make acquaintances. By doing this, you will gain the necessary knowledge and create connections that can help you in your future career and professional life.
There is no time to wait until someone else comes up with educational materials for you and will introduce them into the school curriculum. We need to act now because children are already involved in the digital world. It is impossible to stop this process. Everyone can start moving in the digital environment together consciously.