Tech is evolving so rapidly that it can feel hard to keep up. Your kids may be using new programs and technologies you’ve never heard of. It can feel particularly daunting when your kid’s school starts using new technology, especially in early childhood education.
But don’t fret. Technology is opening new doors to communication that enable you to stay more engaged with your children’s education – it’s a good thing in the end. All it takes is some time for you to learn about new technologies and processes so you can keep in touch. If you’re interested in learning more about technology but aren’t sure how to get started, here are a few ways to learn, in order from easiest to most comprehensive.
The so-called “blogosphere” has evolved — a lot. These days, blogs are sometimes as comprehensive – or more so – than books. As such, reading tech blogs for parents is a great way to learn new concepts, get more information on something, or even specific how-to’s about using a platform or technology.
This is the quickest way to get started with any new technology or concept, especially with how-to guides like HiMama’s podcast and blog post on developing social competency in children.
Attend Meetups or Talks
At the beginning of social networking – think the early 2000’s when Facebook and Twitter were founded – connecting online was all the rage. You didn’t even need to leave your home! One social network, though, wanted to go against that grain from the beginning. Founded in 2002, Meetup.com was the social network all about meeting “IRL” (in-real-life).
The network is now flourishing with a local model of meetups, events, conferences, and more. When you log in, you select your areas of interest. The platform then gives you Netflix-style recommendations of ‘meetups’ in your city that match your interests. These can be a great way to learn about specific technologies (like AngularTO) or more generally about technology (like TechTO).
Try it Out
When it doubt, try it out. If you’re checking out a new platform or technology, one of the best ways to learn is through trial and error. For example, say your child’s preschool uses HiMama’s platform. You may not know how to use it at first, but you will learn fairly quickly by testing out features, pressing buttons, and experimenting.
With this step, you awaken your inner child. Open your curiosity to ask yourself how something works and then try to figure it out yourself. It’s tough sometimes, but technology is now built much more intuitively than it was in the past – in some cases, you won’t even feel like you’re using technology because of how natural it feels.
Take a Course
Whether online or in-person, IT courses can help you up-skill quickly. Depending on how much you want to learn (you can even change your whole career with these courses), you could look to part-time technology courses such as web development courses, search engine optimization (SEO) courses, digital marketing courses or social media courses.
While taking a course online or in-person is a time commitment, it’s correlated to learning. You should check out school reviews before leaping. But if you really want to dive deep into technology, this is the way to go.
Learning About Tech Requires a Beginner’s Mindset
It’s ok to not be an expert at everything. When it comes to technology, things evolve so quickly that it’s nearly impossible to be an expert in all cases (just ask the “experts”). What you can do though is adopt a beginner’s mindset when you are learning about new tech. Don’t be afraid to fail, to ask “dumb” questions, or to make a mistake. As this educator discovered while teaching math to seventh graders, “grit,” more than IQ, is a reliable predictor of success.
You may accidentally send a message that was meant to be a question, or you may close the app when you meant to adjust a setting, but that’s all part of the fun. In return, you get the benefit of being more connected to your child and their education, which makes every misstep and mistake worth it.