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Include Technology in Family Time, and Introduce your Children to Appropriate Sites

By Judith Greenberg, Ph.D., director of School Finders in Rockville, MD

Recently, I read an article about the dropout rate in the US. The numbers staggered me; and after 45 years as an educator, it takes a lot to freak me. Great Schools.org is doing a series on school issues and the July 10, 2012 blog looked at discipline, drop out rates, and states that are rethinking appropriate punishment as opposed to a zero tolerance concept which gets many students caught up in the drop out statistics. In an effort to reach parents, GreatSchools.org is working with parents of kindergarten students to help develop a generation of future graduates.

In all of my years as an educator, I have seen this issue over and over again and no one seems to find a solution that will keep more students engaged in finishing school. Sadly, the US is ranking lower and lower with other developing nations in math and science and more and more students are dropping out of school. So the question needs to be asked: Why are our children dropping out of school? When I was growing up, dropping out was an unusual situation and few thought about doing it. If you did, your parents would be embarrassed and you would not find work. Actually, I think it was the fear of looking pathetic that also added to students staying in school. Today with the addition of technology in nearly every school and home, it should be easier to finish high school.

Keeping your children in school requires several key actions on the part of each parent: involvement, family time, early introduction to books, and letting your child know your interest in education and his or her success are all vital. I am concerned that one area, which should make school more interesting, is actually creating some of the difficulties. Technology has made access to the internet, and so many social sites so easy that students spend up to nineteen hours a day focused on a screen. If you teach your children about hygiene, good foods, sign them up for activities and do family time you are making a good start at giving them the best chance of graduating. Many families decide that limiting the sites students can access and the amount of time online are the best solutions to threats presented by technology.

There is a better approach. Include technology in family time, and introduce your children to sites you find appropriate from a very early age. There are so many adventures that are safe and thrilling it makes sense to properly use the multitude of available information in the same way you are introducing foods and nutrition-be a part of the experience with each child. The educational benefits, the mystery and thrill of exploring new museums throughout the US and the world, are free and glorious opportunities that should start in pre-school. To help you find some adventures, here are some of my favorites:

starfall.com for pre-school through early elementary, with reading, word recognition, poetry, plays, and delightful visuals.

zillydilly.com for young children and designed to help them select appropriate fun and even the amount of time so they do not stay on-line too long.

chinesewithmike.com older students might enjoy this well planned, lesson by lesson site.

exploritorium.edu takes students of all ages through "The Ocean Portal", "Energy Kids", and other adventures.

Working together with technology can help students see a future and a reason to stay in school. You'll enjoy being with them and watching the world through their eyes.

Dr. Judith Greenberg, is the director of www.schoolfinders.net and helps students with Learning Disabilities find the right schools and college program for their needs. You can reach her at:(301) 230-9010 or by email at:schoolfind@aol.com.
Click to see Dr. Judith Greenberg on ISER.





Disclaimer: Internet Special Education Resources (ISER) provides this information in an effort to help parents find local special education professionals and resources. ISER does not recommend or endorse any particular special education referral source, special educational methodological bias, type of special education professional, or specific special education professional.

 

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