Smart Ways To Incorporate Technology In Homeschool Education
Gone are the days when every student had their nose buried in a book. With the sheer mass of information available online, students in every type of educational setting have a world of knowledge literally at their fingertips, and homeschool families often find creative ways to incorporate online information into their lessons:
Worksheets & Print-outs
Remember the “ditto machine,” which churned out wet, stinky pages filled with smudgy purple ink? Obviously, those days are long gone, but handouts, activity sheets, graphs, diagrams, and more still are valuable tools to help students learn, and parents can find whatever they need with a quick online search.
Homeschool students who want more information about a certain subject can invite a “guest lecturer” right into their home, via a plethora of program-approved online videos. A wide variety of providers, including PBS, CuriosityStream, SuperchargedScience, and more, offer classroom-ready videos in all subjects, so students can add a visual link to the information they are studying in their homeschool lessons.
Real-time online activities can help students make the connection between what they are learning and its practical application in their everyday lives.
• A science segment may include studying weather maps, ocean currents, even the migration patterns of herd animals on another continent.
• The Social Studies curriculum might benefit from a “pen pal” (online, of course) in the country or region that is part of the lesson.
• A study of architecture offers a glimpse into how geometry and other complex mathematical concepts are applied to everyday life.
• Streaming a performance of one of Shakespeare’s plays enhances a student’s appreciation for the complexities of language arts.
Homeschool students have the benefit of a “virtual lab” for hands-on learning. Stanford University’s “iLab,” for example, incorporates “lasers, mirrors, microscopes, and computers,” allowing students to fulfill their lab requirements in science and technology without the expense – or long wait times – of individual “wet” labs.
As Christian educators, we have the ability to incorporate technology into everyday learning while preserving the values we want to impart on our children.