In today's electronic-saturated world, children are exposed to technology at a young age. Many toddlers can navigate a smart phone before they can spell their name, and kindergartners have given up bicycles and hide-and-seek for online gaming. Although the kids of today seem to know everything there is about navigating our plugged-in world, many of them lack the basic building blocks necessary to be efficient and productive in today's society.
Here are a few things that all kids should know and be able to do in order to be successful in today's tech-savvy culture. Whether your kids are online 24/7 or have limited electronic access, I encourage you to take the time to review these skills with them. What they do and don't know might just surprise you.
1. Basic Internet Safety
No matter how restrictive your own home might be, the internet is everywhere. It is important to teach kids at a young age appropriate boundaries when they are presented with technology. The topics that should be covered will vary with your child's age, but it is never too early to start teaching them what you might deem appropriate for their age and maturity level.
2. Internet Etiquette
Especially appropriate for tweens and teens, it is crucial that kids be taught the importance of respecting others online, and have an understanding of what kinds of things are appropriate and inappropriate to post and share.
Kids should know the correct way to type on a keyboard. I am amazed at the number of kids graduating from high school who peck at the keyboard with a couple of fingers. If your child's school doesn't teach typing, encourage them to learn on their own. There are tons of websites that teach proper typing, and your kids will thank you later.
4. Finding Reliable Resources Online
Once kids reach high school, they should be able to search for topics on the internet and tell if a resource or website is trustworthy. This skill is absolutely necessary in today's information-overloaded world.
5. Microsoft Office
Spend some time browsing employment openings, and you will see that many jobs require experience with Microsoft Office applications. Commonly used applications include Excel, Word, and Outlook. PowerPoint and Publisher are also good to learn, but aren't as common.
Basic Internet Safety