The combination of digital media and education is a recent phenomenon that has occurred as a result of the rise in technology in both the home and school settings. Both parents and educators can use a variety of educational websites to teach their children in a way that keeps their interest while teaching them new concepts. The website Kidsknowit.com is an educational website that has a variety of educational games, activities, videos, posters, music, art lessons for youth, and movies to help teach children in a variety of subjects. The website describes itself as a learning network for the distribution of learning material. The website is free to use and can be made available to be used in the classroom or at home. The website is easy to navigate as links are provided to any area that the child may need to explore. The website provides an example of how the use of digital media for educational purposes can be beneficial for parents, educators, and children.
The website uses effective methods for teaching by combining both education and technology. The website is well designed as it provides links to a variety of educational subjects, such as reading, math, history geography or science. Within these subjects are links to various forms of digital media learning tools that can be used for children of a variety of ages or educational level. The comprehensive listing of various forms of digital media can also be beneficial as children are diverse learners. For visual learners, the use of posters can be effective. For auditory learners, the use of music can be beneficial. For learners who have difficulty paying attention, educational games are available on the website. The website can also be used by parents or educators as they can print out worksheets to be used to teach their children.
While educators are beginning to recognize the benefits of using digital media in the classroom, not all policymakers are on board with the use of technology and education. Some of these reservations may come from not wanting to steer from well researched educational practices. Technology also has been given a bad reputation for being distracting for students in the classroom. There is also a growing concern about the lack of censorship on the internet. A child can search and find anything on the internet especially inappropriate information or images. “For example, digital media literacy has become a significant objective for media policymakers in response to the increased social and cultural roles of new media technologies and controversies associated with young people’s largely unregulated online participation” (Dezuanni, 2010 1). However the design of the website can ensure that parents will be able to make sure their children remain on the site. This would have to occur with continuous supervision as the internet is unregulated and inappropriate information can be found at the click of a button. In the classroom educators can make the use of parental controls or increased supervision to protect children.
As classrooms transition to the digital media age, increased technology will be present for students. Classrooms have already been installed with smart boards that allow teachers to bring up the internet on classroom boards. Lesson plans have begun to incorporate interactive technology as children follow along on the board. Future classrooms may have laptops available for every child in the classroom. Future educators must be prepared for not only changing their approach to teaching with the use of technology but also the fact that the students they teach will also be different. As children grow up with technology they begin to adapt to a new way of learning material. Educators have to be prepared to adapt their teaching style to a new generation of students who no longer learn through conventional methods. By adapting their teaching style they can become better educators. Educators will have to learn to embrace technology so as to adapt to the change in education.
Dezuanni, M. L. (2010). Digital media literacy: Connecting young people’s identities, creative production and learning about video games. Adolescents’ Online Literacies: Connecting Classrooms, Media, and Paradigms.
Kidsknowit (1999). Retrieved July 27, 2013, from http://www.kidsknowit.com/
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