The Blacktop Blog Posts

Top Five Summer Tech Tips
Buck Crockett
We live in a world where most children use technology daily and summer vacation is no different. In school, computers and iPads are used for academic purposes. At home, technology devices are used in a much more dynamic way. This separation creates an opportunity to foster digital literacy at home. In this Blacktop Blog post, we have five tips for the summer to help guide this process.
 
  1. A child's technology learning needs to evolve as they grow and develop a digital literacy skill set. Fortunately, there are many great resources for parents as they support their children in this journey. Perhaps the best one to start with is the Common Sense Media’s (CSM) web site as well as the #DigCit twitter hashtag. Both of these resources are solid places to find information to help guide technology decision-making at home.
  2. Summer is the season of blockbuster family movies. Watch movies together and discuss themes, questions, issues, and more to help children understand the many differences between the cinematic world and real word. These discussions can serve as a method for connecting with your children in a fun and healthy way. If you are looking for conversation topics on the latest superhero movies, “Spiderman: Far From Home” or “Avengers: Endgame,” we recommend this list on CSM’s site.
  3. Reading time is another great way for children to relax and discover the joy of a great story. If you're looking for suggested reading, we have a comprehensive list of recommended summer reading on our website, and your local public library will also have summer reading contests which can motivate your child to read.
  4. The process of reading does not have to be limited to the visual sense though. Audiobooks can allow information to be absorbed in a way that may be more conducive to some children or environments in contrast to printed text. Audiobooks are a great resource for traveling with children on a long plane or car rides because these are environments are less conducive to visual reading. Furthermore, audiobooks can be used to help students access a topic they are interested in that may be above their visual reading level, while still within their comprehension level. Both ebooks and audiobooks can now be “read” on most devices. Libby is my top choice app for this category. Libby allows users to borrow thousands of audio and ebooks for free from your local public library. Audible is another great app for audio specific books. Audible is a paid service which has a massive library of children books available instantly. Lit2go is another great free resource featuring a range of literary classics in both audio and printed form.
  5. Lastly, having a non-technology time built into your family routine is a good way to provide balance during the summer. Board games, hikes in local parks, and general, non-structured play time are just a few ideas.

About the author
Buck Crockett is the Director of Technology at Almaden Country Day School and manages network, software, and hardware infrastructures. He also has an extensive background as an educator both in and out of the classroom. Email Buck Crockett at bcrockett@almadencountryday.org.