Any parent wants to prepare their children with the skills they need to take advantage of the potential opportunities that modern digital technology will bring. Cultivating and updating digital skills like computational thinking will help your child understand, use, and create these new technologies.

The article below will help you have a more detailed view of how to take advantage of Digital Opportunities for children – Must-have skills when using the Internet

Digital Opportunities for children – Must-have skills when using the Internet

Start building skills for the future now!

When thinking about the skills that children and teens need to be able to take advantage of future technology opportunities, most parents often focus on technical skills, such as programming (writing code) or designing websites.

Actively cultivating these types of skills is especially important, but as technology constantly changes, so will those skills. Computer coding languages ​​used today may not even exist in the future. That is why children and adolescents need to continuously develop soft skills, such as effective communication skills, teamwork skills, problem-solving skills, and creativity.

When you talk to your child about what they’re doing online, show them how their actions can connect to future career opportunities. For example, teens can develop communication skills while using social media such as Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

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Also don’t assume that all online games are not suitable for children, in fact, some games are designed to help children build skills such as teamwork and foster creativity.

Parents can also use online games to talk to their kids about problem-solving skills. For example, when your child faces a challenge, teach them how to stay calm, approach the problem from different angles, monitor and experiment with various methods, and learn from it. These are the same skills your child can use to solve problems at work in the future.

Some suggested questions to start a conversation with your child about building skills for the future:

  • Which video do you like to watch the most (for example Youtube)? How do you think content creators like this came up with the idea? Have you ever thought about making your own video?
  • Have you ever faced any challenges while playing online games? What did you do to overcome those challenges?
  • Have you ever had to work with classmates via email or communicate online with them to complete schoolwork? Do you find learning online any different or difficult compared to face-to-face meetings?

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Encourage your children’s entrepreneurship

Help your child feel like a creator as well as a consumer of digital technology. You can start by reminding your child that all of the technology we love today doesn’t come by itself — someone must have created it.

Then look for stories of young people who have created new platforms or used digital technology to find creative solutions to problems. For example, Mark Zuckerberg built a website for Harvard students when he was just a student.

You also need to help your child learn more about careers that match their interests and the skills they need to succeed. For example, if your child is interested in art, he or she may be interested in starting his own graphic design company.

Some suggested questions to start a conversation with your child about digital entrepreneurship:

  • Do you think young people like you can run their own businesses? Why is it possible or why is it not possible?
  • If you started your own business, what would it be? How can you use the Internet to help you operate and achieve your goals?
  • If you could create your own app, what would it be?

Advocacy for digital literacy skills

Most schools are eager to help their students learn digital literacy skills, but they may not have the resources to deliver a high-quality curriculum.

You can support your child’s right to digital technology education. Start by asking your child’s school what it is doing to prepare students to take advantage of future opportunities in the technology sector. Some questions for you to consider are:

  • What resources do they have?
  • Are Internet, digital literacy, and technology lessons a standard part of your child’s curriculum? If not, find out why.

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This will help you know the best way to speak up for your child. You can also come up with solutions for your child’s school. You can share “Get Digital” – one of many, often free resources to help educators incorporate technology lessons into classrooms. 

Some suggested questions to start a conversation with your child about accessing digital resources with your child’s school:

  • What technology resources (for example, PC or laptop, tablets, or interactive whiteboards) are available to your child?
  • How are educators integrating the use of technology into your child’s assignments?
  • Is my child being taught digital literacy and computational thinking skills?

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You – Be curious about technology

Not all of us are digital technology experts and so if you show your open and curious attitude in learning technology skills, your child will be encouraged to learn about it too.

Let your child understand that you also think these skills are important and take the time to learn them together. For example, you can watch an explanatory video about computational thinking to learn more about it based on theory and related skills such as data analysis and algorithm development.

You can also ask your child to teach you about what he or she is learning at school. It also helps your child review skills and remembers knowledge longer.

Some suggested questions to start a conversation with your child about learning digital skills:

  • What digital skills do you want to learn?
  • Are there any digital skills you think parents should learn?

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How should you start?

You can start by explaining “Algorithms” with your children. An algorithm is a set of precise instructions that can be used to complete a task. This activity will help your child understand more about how algorithms work and how to develop them. Below are the suggested steps:

  • Explain to your child:

An algorithm is a set of step-by-step instructions for completing a task. We often think of algorithms from a computer perspective, but maybe your child is using algorithms without realizing he’s using them. Has there ever been a time when you followed instructions to complete a task? LEGO, recipe cooking, etc. are some examples of algorithms.

  • Ask your child to choose something like making the bed, washing and/or folding clothes, cooking a meal, or setting the table. Then ask your child to write down all the steps needed to complete the task in the correct order.

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  • When your child completes, ask them to read the steps they followed. Make sure you follow the exact steps your child reads. For example, if the task is to cook something, but your child doesn’t tell you to unbox the ingredients, follow his or her instructions using the unopened containers. Your child will soon see that he or she is missing a step!
  • When you’ve followed your child’s instructions, ask him if the task was completed correctly. If not, ask your child to add steps or edit his or her instructions to help you complete the task. Ask them to re-read the instructions as you follow them. Continue until your child’s algorithm guides you to finish the task correctly.

Actively use technology to better protect children on the Internet

Teaching digital skills needed to be a responsible citizen in the virtual world, or teaching Digital Opportunities for children is crucially important. 

But to make sure your child is researching in a safe environment, avoiding any exposure to harmful search results and inappropriate content, you should actively take advantage of technology to protect your children more effectively on the Internet such as porn, bloody accidents, murders terrorism, etc.

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You should take advantage of available tools to set up parental controls on your child’s device to filter out harmful content, limit the use of the device, or some other features for children such as no in-app purchases. You may need some useful online safety tips for parents:

However, with the spread of harmful content (especially porn) calculated by the second, by the minute, the available features of the devices and platforms are absolutely not enough.

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Teach social media skills for children is important, but to better ensure your child’s online environment is safe and healthier, you should consider using an additional online content filtering tool – considered by many parents as one of the best free parental control software to hide 15 types of harmful content on the Internet, including:

  • Pornography
  • Horrifying content like gore, accidents, ghosts, violence, murder, terrorism, etc
  • Content about stimulants, addictive substances such as alcohol, beer, marijuana, drugs, etc
  • Content with aggressive elements, hurting others like Hate speech

This free porn blocker extension can help to minimize your child’s access to harmful content, ensuring a healthy online environment for your child but at the same time, not invading their privacy rights.

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