Parents’ dependency on the technology and digital age has always helped the child to keep themselves ahead in terms of digital learning. Digitally literate parents are capable of educating their children from a very young age, writes Avi Keswani, Co-founder and Director of LISAA School of Design( CREO VALLEY) for Elets News Network (ENN).
To discuss technology dependence in the context of parenting is no less than opening a Pandora’s Box. Apparently, today’s children are well aware about the technology and their umbilical cord has been replaced by technology cord. Probably, this is the time when we could say that the child knows more than parents in term of technology. But it is equally important for parents to be involved in digital learning and educate their children on cybercrime, cyber-bullying, filter inappropriate content and more. Education is, and always will be, the key to helping children, and young people understand the risks and benefits of technology and the online world. Socialisation and digital literacy are skills that can help and nurture through good parenting and engagement.
Technology allows to access invaluable resources and learning opportunities:
The world has turned into a technology run globe allowing young people to access the invaluable resources and learning opportunities. This era is a challenge to parents which is inducing them to participate in digital literacy. As parents play a vital part in teaching children the practice of etiquette outside the classroom, the same way parents should be digitally literate to educate technology to their wards. It is essential that we focus on a conscious rather than a habitual use of modern technology.
It is important for parents to have digital literacy
Using Technology is beyond boundaries and age; we need to recognise that current situation is totally different from that of previous generations. Nowadays, every member of a family has numerous options to connect digitally. Whether we’re carpooling, standing in line at the market or sitting at the dinner table, technology is omnipresent and thus it is important for parents to have digital literacy to fulfill their work as their children won’t accompany them everywhere.
A digitally illiterate parent poses a clear risk to their children (online)
Digitally illiterate parent poses a clear risk to the privacy and safety of children. Tech naive parent may post pictures, videos or information about their children online, unaware of violation of privacy rights of children and worse, opening them up for public scrutiny. Privacy management in Internet and social networks is possibly the primary and most important skill that a parent must possess. It is important for every parent to understand that information in the cyber universe is permanent and it is not difficult to retrieve which may thus pose a risk for the child’s future.
Digitally literate parents are more informed
Digital literacy involves making informed decisions, knowing and enforcing limits. Digitally illiterate parents may be naive enough to take illogical stances about technology. Another important skill essential for parental e-literacy is the know-how and commitment to manage their child’s technological activities.
Parental digital illiteracy can cause problems to children
Parental digital awareness hinges not only on the parents being well-informed of the tools available to children for safe and efficient use of technology but also on their personal commitment. If parental digital illiteracy can cause one type of problems to children, parental overindulgence in technology can raise a completely different set of equally serious issues. With an increasing use of technology and gadgets by parents themselves, there is a very real risk of a social disconnect from their children. This disconnect can have serious effects on the development of the child.
Parents should have active interaction
It is very important for parents to have active interaction and open communication channels. When parents are participating in digital literacy they understand technology guidelines at school and classroom well. It helps them to know about the types of technology being used in their children’s classroom and to obtain the tools to follow up and complement classroom education with their children.
Parents are a crucial partner in teaching the children
We all know that how fast innovation occurs in the world of technology, many parents may feel as though they cannot help their children to navigate the endless expanse of internet and high-end gadgets. But, even if parents do not know everything about technological advancement, parents are a crucial partner in teaching children the safe and healthy use of the Internet. As school work to discuss principles of online safety in the classroom, parents can reinforce the media literacy educational messages at home for helping children become effective cyber citizens.
We can say, parents, today are much more comfortable with communication technologies than were the generation of parents who preceded them. Today parents are using gadgets such as TV, smartphones, computers, and tablets to manage family life and to keep children occupied. And as children grow older, parents and children are much less likely to spend time together in mediated activities.
Keep the face-to-face discussion up front
In a world where children are growing up with technology, parents play an important role in helping them learn healthy concepts of digital use and citizenship. Media and digital devices are an integral part of our world today. The benefits of these devices, if these devices are used moderately and appropriately can come great. But, research has shown that face-to-face time with family, friends, and teachers plays a pivotal and even more important role in promoting children’s learning and healthy development. It is important for a family to keep the face-to-face discussion up front, and don’t let it get lost in a stream of media and technology.
Parents are the right stakeholders
Parents are the right stakeholders who educate their children about what programs are appropriate and explain the program’s direct and indirect meaning. The parent modeling often uses ‘co-using approach’ also known as co-playing in educating the child where they too learn with the child. This also means parents are present while the child is using the medium. There is no purposeful discussion on the meaning or effects of content are involved but just sharing the experience from parents. This is important as this is acknowledged as enhancing the parent-child relationship, and facilitating the development of cognitive, motor and other developmental skills.
Therefore, parental approach and involvement towards digital learning could lead children to utilise the technology in beneficial ways.