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Technology

Technology for Kids: Understand the Pros and Cons

Technology for Kids: Understand the Pros and Cons


Technology for Kids: Understand the Pros and Cons

Did you know that an estimated 85 percent of kids use gadgets like phones, tablets, and computers?

While many of them use these devices with their families, kids also frequently use them in their schools or even have their own.

With this rise of use comes concerns about the good and the bad of technology for children. While gadgets can offer much in terms of education and entertainment, their use can come with negative effects on children’s health and behavior.

Read on to learn about the good and bad when it comes to technology for kids.

Benefits of Technology for Kids

Technology can offer kids much in terms of communication, health, education, and development.

Kids can use mobile devices to call, video chat, and message family members who live far away. They can also use the devices to stay in touch with their teachers in online classrooms and complete projects with classmates.

If you want to motivate kids to move around more, smartwatches can help them become more physically active and healthy. As a side benefit, these watches can help parents monitor your children’s location and keep them safe.

When a child uses technology, they can access instructional materials that help them develop skills and learn better. For example, schools sometimes use online textbooks with instruction manual drawings that help kids learn visually. Kids can access such materials and even full online courses through their tablets and phones.

Screen time can also help kids become better coordinated, improve their language skills, and lead them to become creative problem-solvers. 

Downsides of Too Much Screen Time

While technology for kids offers many benefits, problems can happen when kids get too much screen time.

Instant gratification through gadgets can cause kids to become impatient and have a worse attention span. This can hurt them in school and in their future careers.

Kids may also lose some of their creativity when they use gadgets too much. Rather than coming up with their own ideas and projects, they may use technology as a crutch to entertain them.

Technology use can also potentially harm kids’ health. They can become less active if they spend hours a day on gadgets rather than regular play. Eye issues can also become a problem.

Kids’ socialization skills could also decline with frequent screen time. While gadgets allow kids to communicate with others, they still need to spend time with people in person for the best development. 

Further, technology use comes with the risk of addiction even with kids. This can mean a spike in anxiety and behavioral issues when kids can’t use the devices.

Have Kids Use Technology the Smart Way

To help get mainly just the benefits of technology for kids, you can take steps to plan for healthier usage.

For example, you should come up with limits for your kids’ screen time and closely keep an eye on the sites and apps they use. Encourage plenty of offline activities too such as board games, outdoor play, and art projects.

For more technology tips for your family, check out our other posts.

Lifestyle

Counselor Explains the Pros and Cons of Homeschooling

Counselor Explains the Pros and Cons of Homeschooling


Homeschooling might be the wave of the future, and nearly two million children learn in the comfort of their homes every day. Many students are delving into home learning for safety reasons, while others have chosen this lifestyle for their family. While there are certainly some benefits to homeschooling, there are also some cons that need to be considered.

Counting the Cost of School Versus Homeschooling

Every day, millions of Americans get their kids up and send them off to school. Your local education system works hard to provide learning opportunities for your child. These parents sent their children into a world where things are quite scary.

Not only can these children be infected with viruses and diseases that can be harmful if not deadly, but they can experience violence and bullying. No wonder so many parents are rearranging their lives to homeschool their children.

If you’re on the fence about going back to an old-fashioned style of learning, then you must consider the effects this education system has on the child and the entire family.

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Pros of Homeschooling

There are many advantages to taking your child’s education into your hands. When you’re the teacher, then you get to call the shots. You can teach them what you think is appropriate if it falls within the curriculum requirements for your district. Here are some other pros to consider:

1. Quality Time

Many families struggle with the ability to spend quality time with their families. With hectic work, school, and sports schedules, it seems the family only has time to pass at times. When you homeschool, quality time is not an issue. Your child will have your full, undivided attention, as they rely on you for instruction.

2. Your Curriculum – Your Way

Each school system has different guidelines that are set forth for homeschooling. However, most authorities only require a plan of action and to know that the child learns the required skills. Some parents feel it’s foolish to teach subjects like calculus and trigonometry.

Many parents take a pragmatic approach to their child’s education. They teach them real-world things they need to use. It does someone no good if they can solve a calculus problem, but they cannot cook a meal. Fractions and elements that apply to life are the best subjects.

There are hundreds of programs for you to choose from, including online learning applications. Many school districts even have an online version of their educational program that costs little to nothing to use. The options to bring the classroom to the home are vast.

quotes for children

3. Fit the Education Plan to Your Child’s Needs

Each child has unique learning abilities. Parents with children who have disabilities often love homeschooling because the curriculum can be concentrated on their child’s specific learning needs. If a child requires one-on-one type learning, then who is better than their parent to teach them? You know your child better than anyone.

Some children require medications or a revised schedule due to physical or mental limitations. A homeschool parent can create a schedule that focuses on those needs. You don’t have to take into consideration 20 other children and their demands.

4. Small Class Size – Better Learning

Class size is always a big issue when it comes to schools. The board of education puts out mandates on how many can be in a classroom with one teacher. Teachers have a stressful job trying to attend to and teach so many at once.

However, when it’s just a child and their siblings, the smaller class size allows you to help them when needed directly. Some children are self-starters and won’t need much assistance. Sadly, some cannot answer one or two questions without direction.

Having the small class size allows the child to feel that they aren’t left behind, so they don’t need to be confused about a subject. You simply don’t move on until they master it. There are no stringent deadlines when you homeschool.

5. You Set Your Schedule

Some people are early birds, and others prefer the night owl lifestyle. When you are the teacher, you can say if school starts at 8 am or noon. Since everyone’s schedule is different, and you have work and other activities, you can set your timetable based on the needs of the home.

Additionally, if you want to call off school one day for a doctors’ appointment or other meetings, it’s not an issue. You don’t need to show proof or call the school when your child is too sick or can’t do school that day. You just need to meet an hourly requirement that you can prove to the board.

6. You Can Travel

Many movie and television stars have their children in homeschool programs so that they can travel with them. If you have a computer, and some quiet time, then a child can turn any area into a learning center. If your family is on the road a lot or you long to take vacations, there’s nothing in the rules that says your child must learn in your home.

You have the freedom to take their studies on the road. What kid wouldn’t want to do their work beachside?

7. Better Teaching Materials

Teachers are limited to the materials that are purchased for them through the board of education. Sadly, many educators must pay for supplies out of their pockets due to funding cuts. When you homeschool, you get to say what materials you want to use.

Some programs even provide learning devices and workbooks for you. The internet is full of all sorts of resources for those who want to homeschool and need materials. The support for this style of learning is overwhelming, as it’s certainly grown in popularity.

The Cons of Homeschooling

It’s easy to see that there are numerous advantages to homeschool. However, there are also several cons that you should also consider. Before making such a choice, you need to evaluate the downsides to this type of learning.

homeschooling

1. Some Children Are Hard to Motivate

Some children are challenging to motivate to do their work. If they see the television, video games, and other distractions in the home, it may be impossible for them to do their job.

Setting up a dedicated classroom or workspace can help, but some children need to be sent to a place about learning to focus on schoolwork.

2. Parent’s Aren’t Always the Best Teachers

To be a homeschool teacher, you must have a solid background and be educated. You must know the stuff you are teaching your child. Additionally, you are making a long-term commitment that is going to impact the future of your kid.

Some people find that they just can’t get their children to listen to them or cooperate. Consequently, some children will do things for other people that they would never do for their parents, including learning.

3. It’s Easy to Get Off Schedule with Homeschooling

When your child must report to the school, it’s easy to stay on a schedule. However, when you are teaching from home, it takes discipline. It’s so easy to get off track and procrastinate.

Why do schooling when you can go to the mall instead? Though that statement sounds extreme, it becomes challenging to keep up with school if you are not disciplined enough to stick with a schedule. The school must be the priority of the day, and everything else takes a back seat.

4. It Can Impede Social Skills

Children are in desperate need of developing social skills. The only people in their life cannot be family. If they don’t mingle and play with other children, then they can soon develop social inadequacies that will haunt them for life.

Many programs encourage homeschool children to socialize. However, parents must take an active part in ensuring the social needs are met. Sadly, many don’t have the time for such activities.

Children cannot be expected to stay behind four walls every day. There must be social activities, and it costs money and time.

5. Can Make College More Difficult

Many kids that have been homeschooled have problems when they go back to public school or off to college. Learning in a classroom setting is so different than learning at home. Some people may not be able to adjust from a small group to a large group without issues.

6. Puts a Big Burden on Parents

Parents have a significant responsibility to teach their children the things they need for the future. Many try to do this while working from home. It can be quite a considerable undertaking to try to juggle many things at once.

However, if you’re forced into a situation where you have no choice but to homeschool, then you must make it work. Though, it will probably stress you to the max.

7. You Need A Dedicated Space

One of the most important parts of homeschooling is having a dedicated space that you can allow your children to work. Working at the kitchen table may be suitable for a few days, but you don’t want that mess in your dining room long term.

Children need a desk, places to hang their artwork and papers, and a site that is dedicated to learning. It will make the entire process more manageable when there is a space designated just for their school needs.

homeschoolingFinal Thought: Is Homeschooling Right for Your Children?

Finally, consider some of the greatest minds in our time who studied through homeschooling. Thomas Edison invented the lightbulb and many other things, but the traditional school didn’t work for him. He was sent home as his teacher said that he was unteachable.

The harmful statement infuriated his mother. She knew how bright her son was, and she was determined to give him the education he needed. The rest is history. Other big names like Miley Cyrus, Dakota Fanning, Christian Aguilera, and Ryan Gosling also received homeschooling.

No one else knows what works for your child like you. When you’re in the driver’s seat, your child’s education can be a fun and memorable time in their formative years. Are you ready for the challenge?

Technology

Using Flutter: Pros and Cons for Hybrid App Development

Using Flutter: Pros and Cons for Hybrid App Development


Hummingbird, recently known as Flutter is a Software Development Kit containing various widgets and tools. It’s quite popular among app developers as they can create various applications for both Android and iOS platforms. Not to forget, Flutter contains multiple tools and widgets which provide help in seamlessly creating high-quality mobile applications with 0 hassle. 

Hence, if you are looking for cross-platform hybrid app development, flutter would be of help as it contains a mutual codebase for both the operating systems. 

Here are a few things about Flutter that can help you understand the software development kit better:

  • Flutter is much like Dart, an object-oriented programming language.
  • It is an open-source development kit and is fairly easy to use.
  • The platform provides easy-to-follow guidelines under a professional User Interface. Hence, the apps you create will always have a trendy design. 

Google has had a tremendous amount of responsibility in modifying the development kit to be on par with the advent of modern technology. Here are the changes in Flutter through Google I/O 2019:

  • The introduction of Flutter Web, preview version. 
  • Flutter can now release adds support for Chrome application. 

All in all, Flutter is the word for every hybrid app developers when it comes to creating and modifying professional applications. But of course, before using the development kit, here are the lists of the pros and cons of Flutter:

PROS

  • A Single Code for Two Platforms

Flutter allows developers such as you to write just one codebase for your application. The codebase is applicable and compatible with both Android and iOS platforms. 

Flutter’s provision for its widgets and designs can help you create your application to be the same for both operating platforms. More so, you can opt to make customizable changes in the application, to make them look unique for their respective platforms. 

When creating an application, the usability speed, graphics, and animations are every hybrid app developer’s most vital contribution. Hence, even if there are minute errors in such details, Flutter helps your designer modify the changes, code the program and test out the prototype for further improvements. And all these activities take just a few seconds with the Hot Reload. Therefore, you can fix bugs and experiment with the application until it suits your needs. 

The apps which you create with Flutter can vouch for smoother performance. As the software development kit provides ample space for error fixing and customization options, the applications will have bug-free, quicker usability and task execution. Technical perfection is every developer’s wish and Flutter can make such wish come true. 

If you have the same code base for the application on both platforms, any modification update will require lesser time for improvement. Be it a performance test, error fixing or additions to the app, one app, in two platforms will require only one test to solve all issues in a short period. If you hire quality assurance specialists to carry out such tasks, they can benefit from quick check through and fixes. 

Due to Flutter’s provision to help you create more user-friendly widgets, you can always go for attractive UI’s which can draw in the customers as long-term users. A good-looking widget might not always be about the right colors but also comfortable usability. For example, allowing for a dark-mode theme for your messaging application will target those who opt for comfortable application visibility. 

If you’re under a time-crunch before presenting your idea before the investors, Flutter can be of immense help. Flutter can help hybrid app developers build a product in no time, especially if it’s to be compatible with all operating platforms. 

If your investor has a proper understanding of your application’s usability on both Android and iOS platforms, there are chances of profitable opportunities in your near future.

  • Similar App look for Old devices

If you build a mobile application through flutter, your app will look the same even for older devices and operating systems. Not to forget, it will also provide the exact UI for your customer so everyone can enjoy and benefit from your app. Hence, be it an old iPhone or the new Android tab, your application can fit in all devices’ operations. 

Cons

Although Flutter has become more popular with its increased usability, there are certain issues where you might not find the implementation of much-needed functionalities. Such information is not available in the libraries which might come in handy for all app developers such as you. 

Of course, there is still time for upgrades on this newly-developed software development tool. 

We’ve seen the rise in demand for Android and Apple TVs. With more people opting for Android and Apple TVs for Streaming Application Services such as Netflix and Prime, there is a rising demand for such more apps. 

Unfortunately, Flutter’s framework does not support TV services. Hence, to comply with such commands, you might need to depend on other toolkits.