There’s no age limit to the Internet. Sure, a toddler isn’t exactly going to be able to navigate his way through Web pages, while your 12-year-old can’t have her own Facebook account until she’s at least 13, but overall, nearly anyone can go online to find sources of entertainment, information and other resources.
In fact, it may be a great idea for Canadian parents to allow their little ones to use the Internet with more frequency. We live in an age where it’s not so common for students to spend hours in the library looking up facts in large reference books in order to complete homework, work on a project or compile a presentation – all of that is done using computers now.
As such, it might be good for parents to instill in their kids good information about where they can go to find research and homework help when they use the computer.
Oxford Dictionary Online
OxfordDictionaries.com is a basic but very helpful resource for students online. They can easily look up words in a number of languages – English, Spanish, French, German and Italian. The dictionary then gives the definition, multiple examples of the word being used in a sentence, synonyms, phrases it’s used in and the origin. Moreover, the Oxford Dictionary website allows people to translate their search queries into any of the other languages provided.
The great thing about this website is the fact that people of any age can use it. It’s very straightforward and there will likely always be a use for it – definitely a candidate to be bookmarked.
Perhaps better for older students, Rescue Time won’t technically help them actually find information, but it will reveal what they do when they’re online. For instance, say a high schooler is writing a term paper – with Rescue Time running in the background, it can tell the student how much time they spent on academic sites versus how many minutes they were on Facebook during this process. This can be an interesting way to reveal kids’ habits and make them more aware of how they can better budget their time.
Diigo is a program that can allow students to highlight passages on websites or add virtual sticky notes to the pages, as well as archive the sites that they use the most. Plus, this information can be synced with smartphones, so they can read up when they’re on the go.
What can parents do?
Simply giving their kids the Web addresses of good education resources isn’t going to be enough to set them on the right path. It’s important that mom and dad teach them best practices from day one, such as not going to websites they don’t know are legitimate, asking before they download anything, understanding how to identify a spam email and so on.
On a practical level, it would also benefit parents to invest in high speed Internet so their kids have all the best resources at their fingertips when ever they need them, rather than having to wait for pages to load or deal with jerky video feeds. Luckily, there are many independent Internet service providers that parents in Canada can go to for fast speeds without having to break the bank.