Learning

Doing it digitally

Digital learning is now seen as a key skill from the early years, up there alongside numeracy, reading and writing. Embrace our new digital landscape and discover the learning opportunities it offers for your child.

Published

It’s perhaps no surprise that, in a recent survey, over 80 per cent of parents said they plan to support their child’s learning at home ­ with numeracy, handwriting, reading and digital learning all seen as key skills. The survey, by playful digital learning system Edurino, also found that more than a third of primary school parents say they are willing to increase screen time if it helps their child to learn new skills.

The digital world is not going away anytime soon. We need to encourage children to develop digital literacy in ways that are playful and make best use of the brain that loves to play!’

Here, children’s development and education expert Dr Jacqueline Harding shares her thoughts on the role of play in early years learning, and how a playful approach to learning technology might be key.

According to Dr Harding, developmentally-sensitive digital learning platforms now play a core part in children’s education, which could explain why more than a quarter of parents of new reception class starters in the Edurino poll say they purchased a digital device ahead of their child starting school.

Savvy parents

The Edurino survey asked parents about their attitude to digital learning as part of a core skills mix. It revealed that:

  • 90 per cent of primary school parents say it’s important for their child to develop strong digital learning skills.
  • 56 per cent of the parents in the survey said they believe tablet and digital devices can help their child to learn independently.
  • Nearly a fifth of parents worry about their child's digital skills with so much of life and learning being screen-based.
  • Parents are still conscious of managing their child’s access to devices – with 37 per cent keen to ensure they introduce their child to the digital world safely.
  • A third of parents say it’s important that their child is actively learning when using a tablet or digital device.

Dr Harding says: ‘In the early years, the developing brain is particularly receptive to new experiences and information. Children have a thirst for understanding how the world works and that includes the digital environment. The brain that loves to play is delighted by interactivity.

‘Children are surrounded by technology from the earliest years, so they need the skills to fully function in a future digital world. They are driven to be active rather than passive in all forms of play and this is also true within the digital environment. The digital world is not going away anytime soon. We need to encourage children to develop digital literacy in ways that are playful and make best use of the brain that loves to play!’

Dr Harding’s top tips for navigating digital learning:

Be ‘in the know’: Become familiar with the digital games your child is playing, so you can chat to them about the fun they are having. Research suggests that parents are keen to support their children in developing digital literacy but sometimes feel out of their depth. So take time to familiarise yourself with games such as the Edurino system and try to keep up your own learning with digital skills!

Laugh and have fun: Enjoy character-driven games and the humour together - ­ the learning embedded within the content will happen naturally.

Take breaks: Take time to encourage your children to put their screens down and run around the local park or woods instead. Balance in life is vital.

Make it a hands-on experience: Embrace the interactivity of the games and talk with your child about the narratives and characters.

Take control: Take advantage of the Parent Area provided by digital games such as Edurino where you can set time limits and monitor your child’s progress – it also gives children control of their play.

Keep safe: Keep lines of conversation open about digital safety and guide children according to their age and understanding.

Prepare children for their future: We live in an increasingly media-dominated world and children need the necessary digital literacy to navigate their way around it safely. We also need to be vigilant about the type of media platforms that are most suitable for children and what will do the very best brain–building work. Skillsets for the future are changing and the world needs children who are equipped with critical thinking skills and able to problem-solve with ease.

Strip out the stress: Learning without stress is always the best approach if children are to embrace new skills with enthusiasm. In the early years it’s so important that children see learning in the digital age as something to be enjoyed alongside their favourite offline play activities. Laughing and learning come hand in hand.

EDURINO

Offers playful learning through games for the early years. Unlock a world of interactive learning with the Edurino character figurines: Robin / Early Numbers and Shapes, Luca / Early Coding Skills and Niki / Word Games. Starter sets include a figurine that unlocks a learning topic within the Edurino universe, ergonomic pen and access to the free Edurino app, available for Android, IOS and Amazon on all common tablets and smartphones (no in app purchases or ads, and once downloaded Edurino is internet free).

Learning content is designed by education specialists and meets age-appropriate learning objectives. Good Play Guide Learning Recommended and Digital Recommended.

Visit www.edurino.co.uk

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