Children are now more independent, curious and hungry to learn than ever - and with new technologies and services, there’s an endless array of ways for them to put their thinking cap on. With this in mind, it shouldn’t surprise any current parent that (generally speaking) children are getting smarter. The reasons for this are varied and open to interpretation - although the following common factors are all likely contributors.
Traditional schooling may work well for the vast majority of children, but for those with divergent needs, an extra-curricular learning program can help them discover a favourite new skill or subject.
With increasingly busy lives, it can be hard to understand whether a child is gifted or whether they’re in need of extra help to drive their passion to learn. Gifted and talented children may require extra stimulation and learning outside of school hours, and a great way to provide this is through a dedicated program which is aimed at their level of learning, and pushes them to strive for more exciting and worthy goals for their intellect.
New Ways To Learn
Technology has given rise to portable, attractive learning devices such as tablet computers, laptops, and smartphones. These devices are able to be set up for children, and can be loaded with programs and apps which encourage them to learn through nifty interfaces such as games and animations.
Haptic technologies (touch screens) allow children to direct input information and interact with the content, enabling them the ability to trigger feedback ad drive their own learning experience. Through the use of haptic technology, children can build their instinctive learning skills and learn to problem solve without the guidance and interference of a parent, teacher or guardian.
Competition is another factor which may have caused children and their parents to undertake better learning behaviours. With the proliferation of the internet and associated technologies, children and more connected than ever, and one result of this is that it’s easy to connect with their peer group. These connections are used to foster competition and comparison, and can also facilitate independent learning opportunities driven by genuine curiosity.
The internet also provides children with a centralised and accessible way to gather knowledge, and has enabled a generation of children the freedom to research beyond the bricks and mortar confines of a library. Undertaking this type of self-driven learning may in fact yield more qualitative learning outcomes, as it encourages deep learning - a type of retained and understood knowledge which is often missed out on in children when they’re forced to undertake study in a more formal environment (eg; studying for exams and tests).
Parents Who Care
The behaviour of parents has also had an effect on the intellect of modern children by reinforcing ideas surrounding self-confidence, acceptance and pushing the idea of independent learning.
Building self-confidence is an important part of raising a healthy and mentally agile child, and it gives them the inner foundation which allows a curious mind to develop. Children with anxiety or issues with self confidence are less likely to ask questions, and are more afraid to take initiative when learning - which can result in learning difficulties as they grow older. In children who are taught to express their thoughts and feelings early in life, an easy confidence is able to be fostered, allowing them the freedom to pursue knowledge without fear of ridicule or trouble.
Today’s children are smarter than ever, and through a combination of technology, smart parenting and networking, they have a unique opportunity to continue their learning journey well into the future.