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Eight tips for raising tech-savvy kids

Help your child learn to use technology by integrating it into your home.

By Gayle Berthiaume, consulting educator

From Wiis to cell phones to iPods, kids are exposed to gadgets and gear at younger and younger ages. Tap into your child's curiosity — and show him or her the practical side of technology — with these tips that combine digital skills and real-world learning:

  • Using a digital video camera, your child can interview his grandparents or a senior citizen about a historical event. Then have him create a video with a film-editing program like iMovie and share it with others.
  • Organizing a garage sale? Let your child create flyers with word-processing or draw-and-paint software to post around the neighborhood.
  • Does your child play soccer or collect old postcards? She can create books about her favorite activities and hobbies with digital photos and software such as iPhoto.
  • If your kid wants to set up a lemonade or cookie stand, let him design and create signs for it on the computer. He can also keep track of his sales and expenses using a spreadsheet.
  • Need your recipes organized? Ask your child to create a database for them.
  • The next time you're planning a family vacation or weekend trip, have your child do online research for kid-friendly places to visit and sites to see.
  • Looking for a fun, educational website that provides homework help, lets your child play games and chat with other kids, and has age-appropriate activities based on books? Check out scholastic.com.
  • If your child's math assignment or science project has you stumped, get the help you need with these recommended resources

Gayle Berthiaume was an award-winning first-grade teacher at Minnesota's Becker Primary School for 35 years. She currently trains teachers nationwide on ways to integrate technology into instruction. To learn more, visit Gayle Berthiaume Consulting.

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