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The amazing ways technology is changing the way our kids learn.

Let me start with a quick story that shows how technology had a positive influence on my children’s learning. It was Friday night, and the four of us were huddled around a wooden chess board. It was meant to be a fun games night, but instead it turned into a few rounds of exhausting arguing. My hubby is an avid chess player and we thought it would be great to play with our boys.

It seemed like a good idea…

Except hubby was firing off orders and chess moves, one little boy was in a bewildered meltdown and the other was moving pieces around the board randomly trying to work it all out. We gave up. The next day I woke up to a very different scene though. One son was on his laptop, researching chess moves online. The other was sitting with his tablet and his new chess app, trying out moves and practising to play. Round two that night and chess was a success – everyone had a go and everyone had fun. It got me thinking about the ways that kids learn through using technology these days. In my eight years of parenting there is one thing I know with absolute confidence: all children are different and all children learn differently.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by HP’s new Stream family. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in their own words.

Here are six different types of learning styles and why knowing the difference matters:

1. Listeners.

Some children can be very good listeners. They thrive on clear instructions, explanations and the good old-fashioned method of being told what to do. To foster a good listener try to encourage whole body listening, with still hands and feet, focused eyes, open ears and a mind ready to ask questions. So many apps are available for listeners to encourage listening and learning. Try out Touch the Sound app as a good place to start.

Do you have a listener at home?

 2. Readers.

Readers can start very early and not just with the ability to read printed words. They enjoy taking instruction. They learn through pictures and gain understanding and curiosity through these pictures. Readers feel very independent in their learning, but still need your instruction and guidance to stay on track. How about investing in a low cost tablet such as the HP Stream 8, and download a good reading app to help your reader learn.

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Readers enjoy taking instruction.

Illegal downloads in Australia are higher than anywhere.

3. Writers.

It’s hard to imagine a child taking notes to learn something, but some will grow up to flourish through this kind of learning. At an early age writing sentences about their day and their adventures with your help can help them develop the skills to foster writing as a means to learn. Giving them access to a laptop and a printer linked up to the home network is a great way for a writer to see their work and stories come to life.

4. Talkers. 

Endless questions “But mum?” “Why mum?” are the tell-tale signs that you have a talker on your hands. Discussions, conversations and lots of questions give talkers the chance to challenge and discuss their way through their learning. As tiresome as it may feel at times, talkers need to ask the questions, to grasp the task at hand. Talkers can get ready for a tech-savvy world with apps like Maily encouraging them to communicate and learn in a safe environment.

“Endless questions “But mum?” “Why mum?” are the tell-tale signs that you have a talker on your hands.”

 5. Watchers.

Some children prefer to be shown how to do something. Seeing examples of what works and what does not work gives watchers the chance to imitate these actions on their own. The more they watch, the more they learn. YouTube is a great way for watchers to explore their learning further than the classroom and home.

6. Doers.

Doers are the children that simply want to get out there and have a go. They are bursting with energy to explore on their own and they want to find out what works and what doesn’t. Role play works great for doers and being there overlooking their learning gives them a chance to explore in a safe environment. Movie making, developing a web site and online games are just some avenues for doers to explore on a laptop, get in there and have a go.

Doers love to have a go themselves.

How do your kids learn?

Learn from a Happy place with the HP Stream Family Discover how the whole family can learn from a happy place with an affordable line up of cloud-based Windows devices with Intel Inside.  Complete with 1TB of OneDrive storage and Office 365 Personal for one year* and available in a range of fun colours! Hear from Mia Freedman as she discusses why you don’t need to share your laptop with the kids anymore at hp.com.au/stream *Terms and Conditions apply – see hp.com.au/stream

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