Move Over Gaming – Using Technology for Self-Expression
When it comes to kids and online time, gaming seems to be their natural gravitational pull. Or so we think. Truth is, while games are very popular with the tween-set, loads of their tech time is actually spent exploring online. It seems they are constantly seeking forms of expression – from texting, to social sharing, to video and photo creation.
Smart devices have great benefit as tools to help children be creative, innovative and expressive when the right knowledge and adult guidance is provided.
Children, particularly elementary school-aged, sparkle when given the chance to share their ideas, insights and art completely without judgement. It lets them feel included in a world that is exciting, at a time when they care a great deal about telling their truth as freely as they feel it.
We recently learned about a new online photography classroom for kids ages 6 to 13, designed to let them learn the art, science and fun of photography anytime, anywhere. Janet Pliszka is a Canadian mom and professional photographer who is passionate about getting kids behind the camera, instead of always being the subject of the photo. She created Kids Photography Academy to help kids learn about photography through video lessons, to creatively and technically share their own story through photos.
Showcasing a child’s photography and art online or in real life is the coolest way to let a child feel heard. Tech time can be learning time, and learning time can be incredibly fun. Let your child grab their iPod, a smart phone or a camera and put themselves behind the lens. Get ready to watch them shine as they discover and share the world from their unique perspective.
Apps like Instagram, Camera+ and others let kids use devices with some creativity. They also let them social share their discoveries and photographic art (with a parent’s permission and involvement) amongst their friends and family. And of course, a regular point and shoot camera is a great tool for creativity too.
You can use a service like Shutterfly, Walmart.ca or your local store to print photos to put in frames around the house or for your kids to use to decorate their room. Photos your kids have taken also make great gifts for their friends or relatives.
For inspiration, kids and parents can check out KPA’s #SeeSnapShare free photo inspirations on Instagram.
Kids Photography Academy is currently in development, seeking funds through Kickstarter for professional video production. If you would like to support this small business owner achieve this dream, you can pre-purchase the lessons and back this project at Kickstarter before November 30. KPA will launch in December 2013.
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post by Kids Photography Academy in the form of free video photography lessons. All opinions expressed are my own.
About Kathy Sima
Kathy is a blogger and freelance writer and mom of two teens who gave up her career as a financial advisor when her son was diagnosed with autism at age 3. When it comes to parenting, Kathy truly believes there is strength in numbers and knows that sharing stories and strategies with other parents has helped keep her sane (so far!)