EDUCATION: 5 ways to getting the most out of screen time

30 August 2017

Technology changes so quickly – at C&K we see it as a great opportunity to share and learn together with our children. Like any other tool we need to get the most out of it. We can learn and explore new skills and new ways of communicating. At the same time, we want to guide our children so that they use technology wisely. Our educators model the responsible, creative and curious use of technology. We want children to actively use technology, not just passively consume it.

1. Connect with others

An oldie but a goodie. One of the best things about technology is its ability to close great distances. Creating and sharing videos, video chatting with families or even classes of other children brings our world closer together, build relationships and can help children (and adults) find out about our world.

CK2 web

C&K Bayview Heights skypes C&K Edmonton in North Queensland to talk with their centre pet, Sparkles the chook, and C&K kindys at Highfields and Glenmorgan are digital pen pals.

2. Researching and exploring

Children can use a tablet, mobile phone or computer to find out about local animals, or watch a video clip with you to learn more about a topic. The great thing about a tablet is you can take it right into the garden to do your research – no more being stuck in front of a computer inside!

If your child is swinging or hanging upside down at the park, how about saying: “You look like a monkey… I wonder what other animals can swing? Shall we investigate on my phone and see?

At C&K Amaroo the children have been using the iPads to take photos, explore their interests, research and much more.

CK3 web“Hmm, let’s take a photo at this caterpillar – what kind of caterpillar is it? Is it safe to touch?”

3. Creative apps

Look for apps that are open-ended to support deeper learning, not those that require mindless repetition for entertainment.  “Apps where children are prompted to solve problems, build or create - drawing apps, collage apps, you can create short videos with your child or your child can practice writing their name, are all good,” says Robyn Mercer, Chair of C&K Educational Technologies Team.

4. Robotics 

Robotics for young children can be a great way to learn… and play! The children and staff at C&K Elanora on the Gold Coast enjoyed experimenting with Beebots, to navigate maps. They had to problem solve, code, count the squares, think about directionality and so much more.

5. Tinkering with technology

Children can also experiment with dismantling technology and tools. “The staff and children at C&K Oaks Beach took apart an old keyboard and computer to see what was inside. Computers and electronic equipment were checked to ensure that batteries and power packs are removed first”. Says Robyn. We learned new words like, 'motherboard' and 'circuit'. We saw springs and parts that were really curious to us. Conversations about old fashioned machines arose like ”What’s a video”, “what’s a stereo”? Our educators model the responsible, creative and curious use of technology,” says Robyn, “and that’s something every parent can do at home!"


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