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Can smartphones be used as educational tools?

Updated: Dec 30, 2019

The digital age was supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread, but any parent will tell you that they’ve worried at least once or twice that smartphone use may be supporting undesirable behavior in their children.


Smartphones really have brought a new set of challenges to parenting over the past several years, but there are a few facts about digital devices that make their potential as educational tools unquestionable. Among other things, smartphones:

  • Put all the knowledge gained throughout history in your child’s hands

  • Make social interaction easier

  • Are remarkably flexible tools that can be easily personalized to fit your needs

These three characteristics alone mean that yes, smartphones can in fact be used as educational tools, and to remarkable effect. This logic follows many of the same thoughts expressed on this video on the positive use of tech and media:

Now, here are just a few ways your children can use the power of their smartphone specifically to educate themselves and go further in life.


The internet

Of course, not everywhere online is a good place for children to spend their time, but the internet is an awesome resource for schoolwork and personal curiosity and smartphones bring them directly into your child’s hands.


There are educational YouTube videos (do you use YouTube Kids already?) and forums to ask questions and get answers from others. By following the activity of certain educational influencers online, they can start to figure out which topics truly interest them and how to find out more about it.


Games

What? Games? That’s probably exactly the thing you would like to get your kids away from. Well, don’t be so fast, because certain games have incredible educational value.


From puzzle-solving and geography games to more complex epics that take place in historical settings, games can help children learn about the world in a positive and engaging way, not to mention that the very act of gaming itself has been shown to foster some positive traits for the modern world, like teamwork, finding solutions quickly and recovering from failure.


Educational apps

Believe it or not, there are lots of developers and entrepreneurs who want to help your children get educational value from their devices. Dynamo, for example, requires that children answer an educational question every time they want to unlock their phone.


Others have found their own unique ways of highlighting the educational potential of the smartphone. The best part is that the wide variety of apps available means that you can mix and match, creating an educational cocktail specifically for your child.

School projects

Smartphones are excellent tools for efficiency and kids who don’t learn how to use them properly at a young age could find themselves at a disadvantage in the working world.


Encourage your children to use efficiency-related tools like Google Docs and organizers on their smartphones to gain strong proficiency with the technology and make their schoolwork that much easier.


In the end, turning your child’s smartphone into an educational tool is simply a matter of carefully choosing how it’s used. Encourage the use of tools you feel are valuable to your children. Take responsibility and turn the smartphone into a teacher and a friend.


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