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Your child and technology: what your second grader needs to know

Your second grader will learn to use technology tools like email and simple graphing software.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Second graders in a high-tech world

In our tech-savvy world, even second graders need some basic skills. By the end of the school year, your second grader may be using word processing programs, draw and paint software, and presentation software (like PowerPoint) to complete classroom activities in a range of subject areas, including reading, writing, math, and science. Used judiciously, multimedia tools like these can help develop a young child's higher order thinking skills (problem solving, critical thinking, and analyzing), promote creativity, and be an invaluable academic aid.

According to the Common Core Standards Initiative, which the majority of states adopted in 2010-2011, second graders should be learning a suite of technological skills to support core subjects like reading, writing, and math. (Many states also follow the National Educational Technology Standards for Students (NETS-S). Reality check: although these technology standards exist, how much teachers incorporate them varies widely.

Some mastery of basic skills in the second grade will start your child on the road to technological literacy — a necessity in the 21st century. The goal is that by the end of elementary school, students will know how to make use of multimedia tools that support their education. Here’s a primer for the types of technology you might find in your second grader's classroom, what skills your second grader needs to have, and how these skills can help your child learn.