We’ve all been forced to use online tools more, whether that is FaceTime, Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams or learning apps. At first, for many of us, it was just a means of waiting out the tide, until we can return to normalcy, use tech the way we were before, and just do life the way we are accustomed. Yet, as time has moved on, we are beginning to realise that we can’t go back to the way we were before. Life has changed forever and we have a choice: embrace the change or resist it long enough for it to be forced upon us.
The reality is that what we are experiencing now — the intensity of tech as I like to call it — will be the norm for our children.
The only reason it makes us feel uncomfortable is because it is new and we are forced to develop new habits, which always take a while. But by the time our kids are teens, having tech pervade every area of their lives will not be a new habit, it will be a way of life. So rather than resist it, how about we take this opportunity we have now to find ways to adapt and to learn to use tech and to teach our kids to learn to use it (as it is their future) in the best, healthiest ways possible.
How about we teach our children now, no matter how young, how to use tech to empower others, build strong communities, learn more about the world and engage in a purposeful, positive way.
Alongside that, how about we take the time to teach our children how to have a healthy, balanced relationship with the tech that will inevitably be a big part of their lives AND enhance their lives in so many beautiful ways.
In his interview on the impact Covid-19 has had on virtual learning for TED Radio Hour, Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education, said, ‘we’ll go back to school with a realisation that… kids are dual citizens. They live in two worlds and they always will in the future.’
He agrees that ‘learning is an inherently social activity’, which is often the reason why so many of us resist learning online.
He goes onto say that ‘content is a thin veneer of the overall education experience and if the content is the only part that is made available it’s just not effective learning.’ Maybe many of us are resisting learning online, especially with our kids, because learning, for us, is not just about what we learn but WHO we learn it with.
This is why, when Covid-19 forced my toddler football academy, Wobble and Kick, to shut down with only days notice, I didn’t just jump on the live-class-on-Zoom bandwagon like every other toddler activity provider. Instead, I built the Wobble and Kick Online Team — a space where parents can learn together, connect and encourage each other.
Once I began to build this online team I realised its beauty and that actually, this is something I should have been doing way before the lockdown. I realised that this is our kids’ future!
‘This device that I hold in my pocket is not just for playing games or calling people, it’s a tool for making more sense out of the world around us,’ says Richard Culcatta.
Just look at how it’s brought people together during this time, kept us informed, kept our children entertained, taught our children and helped us help each other through these unprecedented times.
So how about we take the time to help nurture our children’s relationship with tech from young, harness the best of it, help them learn to use, navigate and gain knowledge from it, and be confident citizens of their dual worlds — the real world and the virtual world.
I would love to have you join me in pioneering an online learning community for kids from 1-5 years old and their parents. Request to join Wobble and Kick Online Team.
Listen to Richard’s podcast below…
Coach Bianca xx