1 expert and 1 parent have answered
Really difficult if children and parents are forced to think: play is NOT learning.
Children are not to blame if they consider school a mostly disconnected set of facts and procedures to master, in order to achieve scores and graduations.
A few quote from a marvelous educational book I'm just enjoying reading these days:
"Play is the work of the child", M. Montessori
"Play is a child's work", J. Piaget
A careful designed environment for playing around with intellectual and practical projects and peers IS learning in the fullest possible sense.
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You can do some pretty amazing things with modern day tech. Tablets, smartphones and the internet have unlocked whole new ways of learning and teaching, as well as making both more accessible and fun for kids. It's also brought all new heights to procrastination – perhaps a way of tackling that is changing the tech itself?
To be fair, a lot of parental controls on tablets (both regular and special ones, you know, for kids) let you manually restrict the amount of time that can be spent using certain apps, or whether certain apps are accessible at all. Android tablets, LeapPads and iPads have just as many educational uses as entertainment, so why not tap into that?
Of course, with the kids in control, it mightn't be so easy. I know I spent a lot more time with Sonic the Hedgehog than Mavis Beacon as a kid. Maybe it'd be better to teach kids the benefit of learning, and giving pure fun as a reward? Funnily enough, there's an app for that.
FreeTime, the parental control software built into Amazon's Kindle tablets, just got an upgrade that not only lets your restrict certain apps, it lets you restrict access until certain 'goals' are reached. Want to play Angry Birds? Well, you gotta learn some sums first. Want to watch Barney on Netflix? Get some phonics sorted beforehand. There's a little more nuance in that and, ultimately, a better lesson. Now, does anyone know any cheat codes for Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing?