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Digital learning gives students advantages

Date: 8/15/2011

(State Point) — All parents want to give their kids a competitive edge in school and in the real world. With this in mind, many parents increasingly are turning to new media technologies to make sure their children have the skills to succeed.

While some are concerned about children accessing inappropriate content online, many educators and parents know that combining traditional and digital learning skills is crucial in today’s wired world.

“Digital learning lets students learn at a pace they’re comfortable with and enables teachers to gain insight into their students’ achievements and problems more quickly and accurately,” said Bethlam Forsa, executive vice president of content development for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, a leading provider of educational solutions and developer of digital learning tools.

Research Made Easy

Unlike previous generations, today’s youth has a host of information at their fingertips, allowing them more freedom to explore interests and hobbies, as well as to learn. But with so much information available, it’s important children learn to discern credible information from questionable content.

With this in mind, consider exposing children to age-appropriate websites from accredited institutions. For example, the Smithsonian is making educational research easier through online resources like smithsonianeducation.or.comg.

Adapting Classroom Learning

Digital learning can also make the classroom more fun and help supplement what kids read in books and hear from teachers. For instance, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s new iPad app “HMH Fuse” combines online help with in-class learning.

Students can receive feedback on practice questions, write and save notes, receive guided instruction, access video lessons and more.

The app provides a year-long Algebra 1 course with classroom materials and resources. Its comprehension tracking tools let teachers receive real-time feedback on each student. To learn more, visit

Gaming Can Be Good

Since the late 1970s, educators have sought to combine gaming with learning and today’s new technologies are making this easier. Ironically, some of the games many parents once enjoyed, like “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego” and “Oregon Trail,” are also favorites with today’s students.

These games let children improve math and critical thinking skills while learning about the world. You can learn more at

Experience the World

Digital learning also can enable kids to become virtual tourists. Museums like the Louvre in Paris and the American Museum of Natural History in New York offer online tours through their Web sites. And Project Gutenberg lets you download more than 36,000 free e-books — from the Bible to Huckleberry Finn. This can be especially handy if your child has misplaced a book before a major exam or paper!

The Internet and digital tools can be productive for kids — it’s all in how they are used. Students just need parents to help give them the edge they need to be tomorrow’s leaders.

Courtesy of StatePoint

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