mobile technology

Mobile Technology: How to use it to teach teens 8 key life lessons.​

Mobile Technology: How to use it to teach teens 8 key life lessons.

In this day and age, mobile technology rules the world. A report released by Common Sense Media found that by age 11, 53% of kids in the US have smartphones. And 69% do by the time they are 12 years old. It is safe to say that tweens and teens enjoy using smart devices to play games, watch their shows, and communicate with their friends. 

However, with the surge in phone ownership in tweens and teens and the increased screen time associated with it comes among growing concerns from parents that phones are bad for kids. However, with the proper oversight, smartphones can open up a world of possibilities and potential for teens and tweens. This is why we have Verizon Wireless and love our Verizon Smart Family app. You have complete control in the palm of our hands, the peace of mind, and freedom for them. 

Teaching our children how to become effective and responsible users of technology in our society can help them both professionally and personally, especially as they transition into adulthood. So how can we help our teens develop vital life skills with technology?  

Teach them tech support skills and troubleshooting

There have been many times my kids have come to me to help them with their tech problems. Instead of fixing the issue for them, I use that opportunity to teach them how to troubleshoot and fix those problems. Use that opportunity to walk them through the troubleshooting process and then what to do if they still can’t fix the issue, such as reaching out to tech sport for extra tech help. 

Verizon Wireless has an awesome device troubleshooting assistant that your teens can use. Their interactive troubleshooting assistants provide a visual guide to walk you through the most common issues and resolutions. In a world dominated by technology, it is always helpful to be able to troubleshoot issues with technology effectively.

Teach them how to make phone calls

While texting is convenient, teaching teens the proper phone etiquette is vital and is a must-have skill in both our personal and professional life. Parents can set standards and guidelines for when their teens communicate with them by asking teens to call rather than texting. For example, if they are asking to stay out later, they should call and discuss it instead of texting you about it. You can also have your teen call to make their doctor or dentist appointments. Call a restaurant to make a reservation or having them call grocery stores about product availabilities. Verizon’s Just Kids plan allows kids to use their phones to learn this valuable skill set safely. 

Teach them how to research!

A vital skill that we need to develop in today’s society is critical thinking and research. With having access to so much world knowledge at our fingertips thanks to the Internet and mobile phones, it is essential to teach our children that not all information is accurate. Kids need to learn how to conduct research using the Internet. I don’t know how many times my kids have read something on the Internet and automatically believe it is true because it’s on there. 

A great way to teach kids to teach children the skill of critical thinking and research is to have them research using mobile technology. Want to get involved in an activity outside of your home? Have your teen research it and find out what the best options fit your family’s needs. You can also have them research restaurants, contractors, vacation destinations, the list is endless; teaching them to research on their phone will teach your kids how to use the Internet effectively to find solutions and information.

With Verizon’s Just Kids plan, you can choose contacts, control what your kid sees on their device, track their device’s location, limit data usage, and more right from the My Verizon and My Verizon Smart Family apps. So you won’t have to worry about your kids coming across inappropriate things.

Teach kids money management skills.

The Internet is a wonderful place to find new recipes. So why not ask your teen to plan some of the family dinners. At my house, I challenge my kids to come up with dinner ideas using the ingredients we already have at home. They research recipes, they find the ingredients, and they even get in the kitchen to help make their chosen meals. You can also have your kids create shopping lists on the phone using apps or place orders online using mobile apps.

Teach them how to meal plan.

Your kids can never be too young for financial literacy. Financial literacy is such a critical skill for children to develop. The  U.S. Financial Health Pulse Report found 43 million Americans or 17% are struggling with most, if not all, aspects of their financial lives. Meanwhile, 135 million or 54% are struggling with some aspect of their financial lives. All told more than 70% are having some type of financial problem. That is why it is so important to me to teach my kids how to be financially savvy, money smart and how to use the tools effectively to make sure they do not become part of that statistic. 

Have your children track expenses and income on their phone with apps such as AndroMoney, GoodBudget, and Google sheets. Teach your children how to use online banking, as well. Teens can learn how to make online payments, check balances, and how to create and maintain a savings account. Teens can also learn how to use built-in money management tools available through most online banking platforms. These tools are amazing in helping you track your money effectively and efficiently. Have your teen do a monthly audit of monthly spending and then have them analyze if you stayed on budget or if there should be changes made to spending habits. 

Teach them how to take photos manually

As mobile technology advances, one of the areas we see unbelievable improvements is with the cameras in our phones. My Samsung Galaxy Note 10+’s high-powered studio lenses capture stunning photos in every light. It takes ultra-wide, sweeping landscape shots, or you can swap to the micro-zoom lens for capturing far-off details. Then record in HDR10+ Video quality, complete with Live Focus and video bokeh for real-life depth in every frame. It is incredible isn’t it? I love teaching my kids to use the features that my Galaxy has, as well as how to use the camera in manual mode.

Allowing kids to take photos or videos on their phones also challenges their creativity and encourages kids to get outdoors, slow down, and take in the beauty of our world. This is also a great coping skill and has incredible mental health benefits for both kids and adults. 

Kids can also learn to use photo and video editing apps to help them explore their creativity and learn how to edit and create visually stunning content. Some great apps you can use are picsart, snapseed, lightroom, and video show. 

mobile technology

Teach them to use podcasts and read the news

One of the great things about mobile technology is that smartphones provide instantaneous access to civics, social studies, English, psychology, math, foreign language and science related media sources, including journals, newspapers, online news sites, podcasts, and more. Although you can access information on a desktop computer, a smartphone offers the perk of doing this anytime and anywhere. On car trips, during bus rides to school, at home, and everywhere in between.

Have them learn a new language

Your smartphone is one of the most helpful tools you can use to strengthen your language skills — especially when you use your phone to enhance your learning in between regular language classes that your kiddo may be taking in school. You literally can transform your smartphone into a portable language-learning console!

Have your kids use in phone apps such as Duolingo, rosetta stone, Babbel, and Memrise to learn a new language. Just 30 minutes a day on these apps, and your kids can be fluent in no time. You can also have your kids watch youtube videos that have language lessons or have them learn a new song in their targeted language.

Retaining new vocabulary is vital in language learning, so having your kids keep a list on their phones apps such as Evernote and google keep can allow help them by allowing them to visit and review vocab words frequently.

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post for OM Media Group/Verizon®. However, the views and opinions expressed are my own.

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