|© Monkey Business - Fotolia.com|
I believe a child’s education is shaped by the entirety of his or her experience. While children learn and grow through every day events, I think it’s their home environment, parents, and early education that ultimately promote their development. In today’s information age, we have the opportunity to promote literacy using extraordinary technological tools. Ten years of experience as an online college educator has helped me blend reading and technology to promote literacy with two very important students: my children.
I think the Internet has changed the way parents and educators understand literacy in today’s world. By using the Internet, school projects have become an opportunity for our children to develop their independence by allowing them to research based on their personal interests. As a parent, it’s wonderful to witness my children’s enthusiasm and accomplishment in their reading and writing work. I’m confident it’s also developed their confidence because they’ve used the Internet to produce ideas that are expressive and creative.
As parent and educator, I realize that literacy in the 21st century will require more technical literacy. To help foster this skill, my children spend time communicating virtually with their classroom peers, download e-books, listen to online audio books, and locate virtual tutorials. My responsibility as a parent is to support and guide them as they evaluate content, analyze material, synthesize information, and create reports. I think technical literacy means not only knowing how to access reliable information but also knowing how to apply it to school.
My son recently completed a report on the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking. Since the Internet is overflowing with information on this topic, it placed special demands on my son’s ability as a reader. Although my son was able to apply the same print reading strategies to his Internet reading, it was still challenging. One challenge was overcoming all the fantastic graphics and catchy content that could’ve diverted from his reading. As his online research progressed, so did his ability to evaluate the content and usefulness of each website. By the end of the project, he understood new concepts, improved his vocabulary, and organized his ideas.
I use technology to promote literacy with my children because their future success will depend increasingly on their ability to leverage the tools of society’s future academic and work environments. And while technology and literacy have made inroads in the classroom, it’s imperative that we as parents do the same at home.
Dr. Miguel Corona is the Founder of AdMentis Latino Talent Solutions, a Hispanic talent consultancy that specializes in helping organizations develop strategies to increase their recruitment and retention of Latinos. Miguel also publishes the blog, MiguelACorona.com, a communications platform to discuss Latino experiences in education and the workplace.
Dr. Corona is a first-generation American. His experience also includes over ten years as a faculty member for several online universities teaching graduate and undergraduate business courses.
His on-going research interests include the role of culture on Latino professionals in the workplace, the developmental and leadership experiences of Latino professionals, and the organizational experiences of recent Latino college graduates.
He lives in Madison, Wisconsin.