Nord Anglia Education
Nord Anglia
09 February, 2024

Navigating the Digital Playground Harnessing its Benefits for Childrens Learning

Navigating the Digital Playground Harnessing its Benefits for Childrens Learning - Navigating the Digital Playground Harnessing its Benefits for Childrens Learning
Written by Mrs. Katie Haake Year 2 Class Teacher and Curriculum Lead, Primary
My role in school has taken me on many journeys, more recently embarking on a collective mission to create a safe and enriching online environment for our young learners. On January 3rd, we had the privilege of hosting an E-Safety Workshop, where we delved into the online world and practical measures aimed at ensuring our children's safety in the digital realm. Today, I'm excited to share with you some valuable insights from the workshop and offer practical tips to keep our loved ones secure while exploring the wonders of the internet.

In today's rapidly advancing world, the digital landscape has become an integral part of our lives, offering a wide range of opportunities for learning. By understanding and embracing the positive aspects of technology, we can create an environment that captivates children's knowledge and enthusiasm, fostering a love for learning in the digital age, whilst also ensuring their safety.


But what are the benefits of the online world?


  1. Access to a wealth of information:

    The internet is quite literally a treasure trove of information, providing children with wonderful opportunities to explore and learn about the world around them. We must harness the wealth of information, to allow our children to develop a broader perspective and cultivate a thirst for knowledge.


  2. Interactive learning platforms:

    Digital tools and platforms offer interactive and engaging learning experiences, that cater to different learning styles. As a school, we offer access to a variety of learning platforms, which provide a dynamic way for students to grasp concepts, whilst also having fun.


  3. Development of cognitive function, problem solving and motor skills:

Digital activities often require children to think critically, solve problems and make decisions. Of course, too much of anything can be bad, however research has shown increases in cognitive function, problem solving and fine motor skills after playing videogames. One study had children play Super Mario for 30 minutes a day, over the course of 2 months. At the end of this period, their brains showed an increase in grey matter linked to strategic planning, memory, and fine motor skills. While I’m not recommending we allow our children to play Super Mario for hours on end, this study does highlight the benefits of technology.


While the digital world opens a myriad of possibilities for children's learning, it also comes with the responsibility of ensuring their safety in the online space. As parents and educators, we play a crucial role in guiding children through the virtual landscape, and implementing practical tips can help create a secure online environment for them.


How can we keep our children safe?


  1. Open communication: Establishing open lines of communication with your child is vital. Encourage them to share their online experiences, questions, or concerns with you. This creates a trusting relationship and allows you to promptly address any potential issues.


  2. Build connections through shared interest: Demonstrate a genuine interest in your child's online activities by exploring apps and games together. This shared exploration not only deepens your understanding of their digital experiences, but also creates an open space for discussions. Building this connection fosters trust, making it more likely that your child will turn to you for guidance in their online journey.


  3. Use parental controls: Utilise parental control features available on devices, internet browsers and applications to restrict access to inappropriate content. These controls allow you to set age-appropriate filters, monitor online activities, and manage screen time effectively. During our session, we investigated how we go about setting parent control features, we’re always on hand to help, so this was a great opportunity to set those practical measures.


  4. Stay informed about apps and platforms: Regularly research and stay informed about the apps, games, and social media platforms your child is using. Be aware of their functionality, age restrictions, and potential risks, enabling you to make informed decisions about their suitability. This is something we are keen to help with.

By incorporating these practical tips into your parenting approach, you contribute to creating a safe and positive online environment for your child. Open communication is key to fostering a digital space that nurtures their curiosity and enthusiasm for learning while ensuring their well-being. Please reach out to your child's class teacher if you would like any further support.

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To read more about how we improve student wellbeing at BIS Abu Dhabi, click here.