Homework Strategies for A Digital Age

In an age where teens spend most of their time either playing video games or wasting time on their phones, it may be hard to get your teens to focus on getting their school work done.  Most parents today have a hard time getting their teens to sit down and focus their energy on their studies.  While teens will argue that homework is a waste of time, studies have proved that well thought out, entertaining homework and studying outside of school truly helps the students to better understand the material, it also helps promote independence.  With there being so many pieces of technology that teens would rather waste their time with than read and study school materials, it has become increasingly important to include today’s technology in educational studies.  

The digital age we live in now is opening doors for children and teens to learn in ways that wasn’t possible 10 years ago.  Great tools your teens may already have access to are:

  • Cellphones, even some of the most basic models have the internet available.  This allows students to search nearly anything.  Whether they want to admit it or not, the cellphone can be a great learning tool.  It is also beneficial to be able to contact your classmates for assignments and just stay in touch with peers.  Apps make it all easier than ever before.
  • Laptops and tablets, these are becoming increasingly popular for schools to loan to their students.  This gives students the ability to research and do their school work on their own personnel piece of technology.  

The good thing about the digital age we live in, there is so much information available to teens and anyone wanting to learn.  There are resources available for students struggling or just needing a little help.  Apps are becoming a popular way for people to do anything from checking e-mail to transferring money between accounts.  Apps are even becoming popular for learning aids. You can easily learn a different language or the entire human anatomy.  Anymore it is very easy to incorporate technology into a teens studies.  It is important that teens understand the difference between wasting time playing with technology, and utilizing it to help with studies and everyday life.  Teens are way too quick to waste hours on social media, whereas they could be learning something interesting that could be benefiting their future.  As parents raising kids in a digital age, it is vital that they teach them how to properly utilize technology, not abuse it.  

It is also extremely important to learn how to manage ones’ time and can be helpful for some teens to schedule their study time.  Often people find it hard to make themselves “make” time for things such as studying or working out, so it can be helpful to have your teen physically write it into their schedule vs “making” time for it.  Basic time management skills are extremely important in everyday life.  It is also important that you make sure your teen isn’t cramming and pushing to get all of their homework or studying done over the course of a couple hours in one day.  Instead, encourage them to study for 20-30 minutes, take a break for a bit and then continue their studies for another 20-30 mins; each day.  Helping our teens understand how to make technology and time work for them is just as important is the material they are studying.

Examples of educational apps available:

  • Vocabulary Builder, this app allows you to build your vocabulary while playing a fun game.  This app was created by Magoosh’s tutors.  (Magoosh is an online test prep company.)
  • Math Tricks This awesome app teaches mathematical short cuts and tricks to help you master math.  Useful for all grades and ages. 
  • Quizlet A free app that literally allows you to study almost anything.  Quizlet has tons of categories for your teen to choose from.  It offers flashcards, quizzes, writing, and much more.  It also allows your teen to create their own flashcards for any subject.

Taken from the May 2018 issue of Geek Parenting, out now!

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