The Parent’s Guide to Educational Technology
Canada has millions of jobs related to science and technology, according to the Canadian Occupations Projection System. Many of them, such as Scientific Research, Engineering Manager and Medical jobs, ranks among the top 10 jobs in the country and show positive job growth trends. Parents can support their children in developing a well-rounded education in Science, Technology, Art, Education and Math (STEAM) by investing in educational resources that provide solid building blocks and fun activities.
Half the battle is knowing where to begin. How about a browser that searches millions of websites for scholarly sources for your topic? Google Scholar searches across many platforms to find books, abstracts, articles and peer-reviewed papers from academic sources. societies, repositories and universities.
There is a multitude of Pinterest blogs that help parents fuel STEAM learning at home. Some deliver topics and projects for weeks, such as the 100 Day STEM Challenge, while others provide reviews on helpful books on science and technology topics.
Google and Khan University have partnered to create "Learn at Home," which features Live Streams for every topic. This tool enhances homeschooling and online public education. Netflix responded to teachers requesting access to documentaries, and these are also available for home-based education. Parents can also browse Netflix's educational shows to enhance their children's interest in science, technology and math.
Scholastic Learn at Home provides both paid and free resources for younger learners and parents, including books and videos. Some schools are using Stanford Online High School to house their online learning platforms. Stanford offers a way for students to interact online and also provides individual support to help classes stay on the same page.
This list of 200 educational resources, curated by Open Culture, gives Canadian students a ready-made list of learning topics to support STEAM learning.
Building robots teach students about engineering, electronics and science. Motivate your children to embrace technology with fun, educational projects available for purchase online. Use this STEAM Guide to put together an effective home curriculum in minutes.
You'll also find hardware and other equipment to help your child keep up in a world that is increasingly becoming more digital, including:
- 3D Printers
- Virtual Reality
Coding Online Resources
Coding involves using computer programming to create programs, move robots and do a variety of tasks in the digital world. Learning how to code teaches kids persistence, critical thinking, problem-solving and willingness to try new things. Building robotic arms can teach kids how robots are used in manufacturing and require basic coding skills.
Coding for kids might seem out of reach, but there are many resources to help you. Most of them are free.
Some of the best online coding resources for young learners include:
- Khan Academy
- Code Combat
- Code Monster
For example, Code.org has a weekly "Code Break" interactive classroom where students learn programming concepts.
If you're feeling overwhelmed while the schools are closed, try out a few of the resources above to get some help. Online programs also prevent kids from losing their learning skills over the long summer break.