There is increasing evidence that your kids are learning something when playing with games and apps on their computers, mobile devices and game consoles. But are they learning anything useful? Are they spending too much time in front of a screen when they could be learning more elsewhere?
While you can immerse yourself in the research on games and learning, you might do better to follow a few of these suggestions if you want to see if they are benefiting from their digital involvement.
10 Ways to See What Your Kids Are Learning from Digital Media:
1. Play with your children on a regular basis, even if you feel like you aren’t good at the game.
2. Ask your children what they are learning from games and then have them show you how they are learning.
3.) Take them shopping with you to Wal-Mart, Best Buy, or other stores that sell video games and have them show you which games they enjoy and what they are interested in playing.
4.) Show your children some of your own favorite websites and talk about what you are learning from technology.
5.) Keep computer and video game consoles in common areas in your home so you can monitor their patterns of use.
6.) Work jointly with your children to conduct web searches in efforts to learn more about their specific areas of interest.
7.) Make comments aloud when you feel you have spent too much time surfing the Internet or watching television so that children see the importance of imposing personal limits.
8.) Conduct a family experiment during which each person logs his or her time spent using digital media over the course of a week or more.
9.) Watch your children when they’re playing games with their friends or siblings.
10.) If your child has a cell phone or an iPod, ask them to share some of their favorite apps and games with you.