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6 pros and cons of learning with digital devices
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Main dangers of kids apps and how to avoid them

6 pros and cons of learning with digital devices

 

Nowadays many parents face a dilemma when it comes to their kids’ education. They don’t know whether they should take advantage of the fast developing technology or encourage their kids to use conventional ways of studying like they used to in the past. They wonder if digital devices really improve children’s skills or they are another step towards addiction to technology. Which aspects of educational technology will make you look favorably at digital devices and which should raise your concern? Take a look at the list below.

The arguments in favor of using non-conventional methods of studying:

 1. Attractive and easy interface. This fact can convince parents with children who have cognitive disabilities e.g. autistic children. According to the study conducted by IMFAR apps have a positive affect on communication skills of kids with autism.

2. Development of many skills. One device enables your child to practice all kind of skills: it trains their memory, mathematical skills, reading skills,  improves their vocabulary or makes learning a foreign language easier. Moreover, the level can be customized and adapted to your child’s abilities.

3. Weight and portability. You can take it almost anywhere, giving your child an easy access to learn in almost every place.

4. Lower environmental impact comparing to books. This argument will be convincing especially to people who opt for environmentally friendly ideas.

5. The price. While an average price for a children title is 17.99$  (info from 2014), the average app costs 2.56$.

6. Access to a lot of information. Digital devices give children an opportunity to find plenty of information and resources that at times are not available in a paper form.

 

The drawbacks of learning via digital devices:

1. Many distractions. While studying with a digital device, it is easy to switch to non-educational programs: games, social networking sites etc. This is a distraction that heavily impacts on children’s concetration level.

2. Bad influence on eyesight. If overused, digital devices can worsen your child’s eyesight.

3. Adult supervision required. In case of small kids devices should be used under supervision of adults. You don’t want your toddler to bite into your smartphone or tablet 🙂

4. The safety concern. One of the biggest concerns of adults regards safety of digital devices, especially apps. You can read more about the dangers of kids apps here.

5. The price. Even though it has been listed as a pro and applications are far cheaper than books, the price of a digital device itself could be also seen as a drawback.

6. Passive time. Since children already spend a lot of time watching TV, surfing the Internet or watching movies, additional time with digital devices can discourage your child from spending their free time in a more active way.

All in all, combined with conventional ways of learning, digital devices can be a powerful tool to boost your child’s skills as it gives them new possibilities that previous generations did not have.

 

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Magdalena| Appetite For Education

P.S. If you are interested in more information on applications or you are looking for one for your child, subscribe to our newsletter to read more interesting articles in the future!

 

Main dangers of kids apps and how to avoid them

cute baby toddlers exploring mobile phones

Usually parents, assuming that products for children are supposed to be safe, tend to neglect possible dangers. However, according to studies 7 out of 10 children use tablets or smart mobile devices and nearly half of them is not even in the kindergarten yet. Therefore, it is very important to recognize the threats coming from the increasing activity of kids in the digital world. In this post you will discover the most common dangers of kids apps and tips how to avoid them, so that your kid can enjoy apps in a safe way.

 

What kind of apps should you avoid or at least be more cautious about?

 

1. Apps containing advertisements

Some applications contain ads which may not be appropriate for children. Another ones practice behavioral advertising – they show the content that is most relevant to the user, presenting the product that is very attractive for a child.

 

2. Apps with in-app purchase option

According to studies as much as 84% of apps with this option are free to download. At times even the apps that claimed to be free contain the option of buying additional characters, scenarios etc.

 

3. Apps that link to social media

Some apps that link to social media can expose your child to people you would not like them to meet. Moreover, it gives them a possibility to post harmful or offensive comments or being a subject to them.

 

4. Apps that collect and share personal info

A number of applications store personal information without telling you so. Additionally, some app softwares share it with advertisers and data brokers, who use it for marketing campaigns according to FTC. Out of 400 hundred applications for children the majority did not inform about storing personal information. 59% of kids apps share personal info while only 11% reveal this information.

 

Some apps may access:

  • call logs

  • internet data

  • calendar data

  • data about the device’s location

  • the device’s unique IDs

  • information about how you use the app itself

  • your phone and email contacts

 

Having read all this you might wonder: How to make sure that the app I am buying or downloading is safe for my child? Here are the most important tips:

First of all, I suggest caution and the limited principle of trust as well as doing some research on the developer whose app you are interested in. Make sure that the site from which you are downloading/buying a kids app is trustworthy. Look for opinions and reviews before your purchase. One of the site where you can find the information on safe kids apps is Momswithapps a site where you can find family-friendly applications or Teacherswithapps – a site with app reviews and resources.

 

Moreover:

  • while looking for an app, look at the screen shots on the site, so that you get an idea how the app looks like

  • read the reviews and descriptions

  • find out more about the developer and their work

  • try out the app together with your kid. It is important to chatt with your child about possible dangers. Draw their attention to important issues, show applications worth using. Monitor what kind of apps they are in contact with and where they get them from.

  • set a password so that your kid doesn’t make in-app purchases

  • turn off the Internet or put your phone on airplane mode, so that your kid cannot access social media sites

 

threats_of_kidsapps

 

Thanks for reading and see you next week!

Magdalena| Appetite For Education

P.S. If you are interested in more information on applications or you are looking for one for your child, subscribe to our newsletter to read more interesting articles in the future!

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