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Technology has become an integral part of our lives, and students are becoming increasingly reliant on it. But while technology can be incredibly helpful in learning and providing students with access to a wealth of information, it also has its drawbacks. With that in mind, here are some tips on the proper use of technology for students. 

 

How Should Technology Be Used in the Classroom?

Technology can help when it comes to studying and completing assignments, but it can also be a major distraction. The use of technology should be monitored to make sure it’s helping rather than hindering progress. 

Students have to be taught how to use technology responsibly. For example, they should, 

  • Avoid inappropriate websites 
  • Limit their screen time 
  • Try not to be distracted by technology 
  • Fact-check their sources 

Inappropriate Uses of Technology 

The thing about many technologies today is that they’re a slippery slope. Take a tablet for example. You can use a tablet for reading as well as streaming movies. Unless you get a tablet that can only show you books such as a Kindle, then there are going to be distractions. Pop-ups, ads, and recommended links that throw students off the path of learning are plentiful. Think of YouTube’s recommendations; the platform has many educational videos but a student’s learning process can be easily derailed with a video of a cat grooving. 

Inappropriate uses of technology aren’t just distractions. Many students are under age but the technologies they use for educational purposes can also introduce them to inappropriate concepts. That’s why parental control apps are on the rise and more parents are researching them. Even Amazon has methods on how to put parental controls on Kindles. Who would have thought a Kindle can be distracting? 

 

Checking Online Sources 

Students should make sure they’re using reputable sources. It’s important that the information students access online is accurate and up-to-date. It helps if they double-check the sources they’re using and make sure they’re reliable. 

In the case of news, it’s best to find the original source. For example, many people cite a Wikipedia page as their source of information, but the irony is that each standard Wikipedia page has its own references that it cites at the end. Most websites link to the original source and students should take that into account when they research. Fact-checking is especially important for social media. It prevents the chances of coming across examples of fake news on social media and simply believing them. 

 

Taking Breaks 

Technology can be incredibly stimulating, and it’s easy to overdo it. Whether it’s the responsible use of technology in the classroom by teachers or at home by students, there’s always a threshold. After a certain amount of time, it’s important to rest. In the case of looking at a screen, students should follow the 20-20-20 rule. In short, the rule suggests a healthy practice; every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds. 

There are also parental controls that can be used for underage students. For example, in the case of making virtual reality safe for kids, underage students use VR headsets for too long even in an educational context. But there are ways to set screen time limits like the parental controls on Oculus Quest, a VR headset model. 

 

Four children looking at a screen in a classroom

 

3 Main Technologies Students Should Use 

Technology is a vague word because it can mean a lot of things at once. But there are effective uses of technology in the classroom for students. Here are three main technologies students should know how to use properly. 

 

Social Media 

Social media platforms such as Instagram and YouTube can be educational in the right context. YouTube, specifically, has lots of educational videos posted by individuals, universities, and organizations. Though social media isn’t the best medium for learning it can certainly be used for the job. 

 

Search Engines 

Many students don’t use search engines properly. The internet, a sea of information, would be impossible to navigate without the help of a search engine. Even finding a book in a library can be an optimizable process, i.e., searching by alphabet or topic or both. The internet is sort of the same.  

Searching keywords and indexing the information researched can help students optimize their process. Students can eventually come onto websites that are great resources, and they can use them indefinitely in the future. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information available online. To make sure students are staying on top of their studies, they should create a system for organizing their notes, research, and other materials. 

 

Online Classes 

Though online classes existed before the covid-19 pandemic, the world shutting down certainly helped better integrate online education into society. Online education can happen in the form of websites, such as Khanacademy which targets students and is a non-profit organization, or in the form of private online classes.  

Such online resources are usually free or much cheaper than going to a school, college, or university. These resources can especially satisfy a student’s curiosity about a topic that they don’t want to necessarily delve into. Like when a biology student wants to learn about a philosophical topic just for the sake of it.   

 

Conclusion 

By following these tips, students can make sure that they’re using technology in a productive and responsible way. Learning the proper use of technology for students can be extremely helpful. Optimizing the use of technologies such as the internet and search engines can make a student’s life in the 21st century a whole lot easier. Using a parental control app, like Safes, can make sure that students’ distractions are kept to a minimum. To learn more about features and pricing, feel free to download Safes and try it out yourself.

Mohammad Z.

Mohammad Z.

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