At ParentsCorner we’re often asked “How much technology is too much?” There is no quick answer to this. With technology being so essential to our everyday lives, workplaces and communications, it goes without saying that children need to learn the relevant skills to traverse the tech space. The tricky part comes in when deciding what skills are most important to your child’s future, and safety? To assist you in your decision making, we’ve put together a list of what we believe to be the most important tech skills:
1. Online safety
We can’t stress this point enough. Teaching your children the importance of online safety should be the first task on your agenda when allowing them to embrace the web. Teach your children about serious issues such as cyberbullying, sexting, phishing and make sure they know how to set up safety features on all of their social media accounts. We also suggest talking to your children about the dangers of sharing too much information online as well as the basics of online safety in chat rooms and gaming platforms.
2. Netiquette -internet etiquette
This is perhaps one of the most important skills to master. Internet etiquette speaks to a wide range of social conventions that facilitate appropriate online interaction. Some of these conventions include:
● Formulate a professional & well-written email;
● Don’t plagiarise content; and
● Avoid the use of vulgar language or over sharing on all social platforms
3. General Navigation of the Web
More than simply using the Google Search Tool, Bill Coplin of Syracuse University, highlights the importance of being able to search the web well. From being able to extract data, to finding medical journals, the online world holds a wealth of knowledge accessible to anyone who knows how and where to access it. By letting your children explore the internet, with the appropriate guidelines in place, you are allowing them to learn skills that are invaluable to their future.
4. Social Media
While this might seem bizarre to you at first, businesses and organisations are turning to social media for a large portion of their marketing and communication needs. Being able to navigate through the world of online communities with ease is a skill that many companies place high value on. We’re not suggesting that your children spend hours on end scrolling through Facebook and Instagram, but it is important to let your children experience and learn about social media and how posting and commenting on posts work.
5. Office Suite
In his book 10 Things Employers Want You To Learn in College, Coplin stresses the importance of being able to create, edit, modify and format documents using the Office Suite. Not only are these skills essential in the workplace, but schools are beginning to adopt computers into their classrooms making it important for children to understand the basics of the Office Suite from a young age.
At ParentsCorner, we believe that the digital world comes with a range of opportunities when used and managed appropriately. We want to encourage parents to allow their children to engage with technology and the online world in order to equip them with the skills needed for their future. We, do, however believe that these skills need to be acquired in an environment where they can learn and explore technology safely and productively.