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

From managing a mouse to using an online encyclopedia, your third grader will find technology an increasingly valuable learning tool.

By GreatSchools Staff

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Technology as a science aid

To track and chart scientific data, your third grader may use spreadsheet programs like Excel. You child may be also introduced to creating and using database software such as FileMaker Pro or Microsoft Access to classify information. Kids may work from templates in which a spreadsheet or database has already been created and they need to enter the information. Your third grader may contribute to a spreadsheet of the class's favorite foods or a database classifying their library of books.

In an Internet-connected classroom, science is as close as the whiteboard, monitor, tablet, or computer screen. At this level, children can watch close-up footage or animation of the human body, dinosaurs, space, or cells. They can play with animated versions of the elements in the periodic table or simulations of tornados or the night sky. Websites like Khan Academy,, Discovery Education, and The Jason Project allow kids to access multimedia lessons and animations that transform science instruction into adventure. And to help young students imagine themselves as scientists, the teacher can invite working scientists — virtually — into the classroom and let students ask questions of the researchers themselves.