As the school year comes to a close across the country, we know that opens up A LOT of time for kids during the long summer days.
We also know that kids today are increasingly using the Internet in their free time to find information, entertain themselves, purchase goods, and communicate with their peers and family. If you’re working with kids this summer — whether in a summer learning program or at home during family time — or if you’re still in the process of saying goodbye to your students, you may be looking for ways to help them sharpen or extend their skills during the next couple of months.
To support kids making use of the web for learning, I’ve created a collection of websites gathered via a LiveBinder. The sites are organized by content area and provide engaging, fun activities for a variety of ages and grade levels. Use them and share with your kids in whatever way makes sense given your context.
In the meantime, I also wanted to share some statistics on the use of devices and the Internet, to show that sharing websites with students can leverage their already existing desire to engage with technology, particularly mobile devices.
- 75% of kids have access to mobile devices at home.
- At least two hours of each school day, students are in front of a screen, 50% of which is in front of a television, 50% in front of a computer or mobile device.
- Kids are using mobile devices at an increasing rate, on average for 15 minutes a day.
These statistics are pulled from a large sample of children (ages 8 or younger), so this reflects the averages of those findings. You can glean more insight by talking with your own kids. If you’re still in school, it could be useful to engage in a discussion with your students about their summer and help them to identify activities — online and offline — they can use to structure their days. It could also be a good opportunity to identify any anxieties they may have about the long summer days.
As adults, we come to enjoy the slower pace of the summer, but for kids it can be the coming of an unpredictable, unstructured, and quite frankly, boring time. Let’s talk with our kids about what they hope for their summer, and if your kids are already out of school, use social media to connect and find out how their summer is playing out as they engage in the web-based activities you’ve shared with them!