Trying to get my daughter to do her homework is a little bit like pulling teeth but in this high-tech age, children have a completely different experience of learning and education from when we we young. Gone are the endless nights of scribbling, crossing out and rewriting, and hours of spent researching in the library. These days, with the birth of laptops and tablets, homework is a completely different animal. At the click of a button any question can be answered. With websites designed specifically for children, they can read and interact almost independently. Sites like Advent gives some good advice on how computers can help children with their homework.
It seems like it was only a few years ago, you had to actually visit a shop to purchase a computer; these days, with so many review sites to rely on, we have become more confident in our knowledge. When it comes to purchasing technology, sites like www.ebay.co.uk give such a wide selection both in terms of budget and specification, we need never be bothered by those pesky sales people again!
In fact I have just ordered the girls some new dvd players from eBay this afternoon, without moving from my computer (I really do love the internet). The problem for me is that I get lost on there and go clicking through looking for all sorts of other ideas and deals (maybe this is where my daughter gets her "easily distracted" temperament from). In all seriousness though, there are so many different devices to choose from, I am never entirely sure which one is best for the girls.
Tablets are great for portable working, they are easy and fun to use. They are internet-enabled and work in a similar way to smartphones. Educational apps can be purchased and parental controls can be set – more easily on some than others. They are excellent for reading and researching and you can purchase apps and audio books that read aloud. These are brilliant for children who are dyslexic or for younger age groups. However, although you can download Word, it would be reasonably difficult to type up a project on a tablet and it's memory and storage space is limited. They are also easy to break or scratch so protective casing is an absolute must ..... especially if you have a boistrous 2 year old around. (says the voice of experience).
If, like me, you would like your child fixed in one place, then a desktop computer is the best option. They have huge storage/memory capacity and by the fact that they can't be moved means they are very hard to break. A desktop PC is a good idea if you want a computer to be shared by other members of the family. For me, it also gives me the ability to check what she is doing, I know that sounds a little "Big Brother" but eith so many "pop ups" and cyber bullying, keeping her safe online is as important as road safety these days.
Laptops bridge the gap between the tablet and desktop, having the best of both worlds. Portable yet sturdy, they have a better amount of storage (around 500GB compared with 64GB on the larger tablets). The keypads are as good as a desktop so typing up work is a doddle, and the mouse track pads definitely make it easier to edit photographs. There are so many to consider though, so to get an idea of the laptop(s) that may suit you, consider by reading the Which guide. Mini-laptops are also available, which can be particularly useful if your child needs to take it to school or off to a friend’s house to study.
Each device has it pros and cons according to who is using it and of course what it is going to be used for. What’s best for one family may not suit another. Tablets are generally the cheapest option; however, for longevity, you may find the laptop the best investment.
Typically every member of our family wants something different but if we get this right, the girls will have absolutely no reason not to do their homework! *looks hopeful*
What do you prefer?