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

When first graders use technology in the classroom, they start to use a keyboard; master terms like menu, file, save, and quit; and even learn to navigate the web.

By GreatSchools Staff

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First graders in a high-tech world

What role should technology play in your first grader's education? Of course, first graders shouldn't be spending their days (at home or school) planted in front of a glowing screen. Instead, the best first grade classrooms incorporate technology sparingly to augment learning and lay the foundation for technological literacy. According to the Common Core Standards Initiative, which the majority of states adopted in 2010-2011, first graders should be learning basic 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 basic mastery of high-tech skills in the first grade — such as becoming familiar with a computer keyboard and even navigating a website — will start your child on the road to technological literacy. 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 first grader's classroom, what skills your first grader needs to have, and how these skills can help your child learn.