Introducing Technology to Elementary Students

Taking the time to educate your child on the safety components of technology and the internet will further set them up for success as they navigate their school years.

Today more than ever, we are turning to technology further for seemingly basic needs. What used to occur for casual research or connecting with friends and family has escalated to much more. Now we find ourselves turning to the internet and technological devices to perform most of our daily tasks.

The new way of living doesn’t just pertain to adults either. The use of technology is infiltrating classrooms and homes as educational outlets for children on a more frequent level. How do we prepare our children for that? More importantly, how do we start introducing technology to elementary students?

Start Small

In the beginning, and especially for children who have previously had little experience with technology, it is best to start in small doses. Some children may experience overwhelm the first time they have exposure to the internet or just a technological device in general. Therefore, introducing the concept little by little will provide exposure but not inundate them right off the bat.

Taking five to ten minutes to initially explain to your child in basic, age-level terms what the equipment does and how to operate it will go far in understanding primary fundamentals. From there, let them explore by interacting with an age-appropriate learning game or video chatting with a family member to grasp further how to navigate within the different programs. 

Taking this step will allow them to explore and become comfortable in short, brief increments without feeling pressure to perform in a certain way.

Create Boundaries

It is essential to recognize the ability to become consumed by technology quickly. As adults, it doesn’t seem as all-encompassing as it truly is, but for young children, it can quickly become an out of control habit if boundaries and standards aren’t set in advance. 

With that, taking the time to talk to children about limiting time on devices and making physical play and conversation a priority is critical to their mental wellbeing. Children need to grow up knowing the importance of physical interaction as opposed to virtual. Helping them to understand and set these boundaries is essential to the initial framework of exposing children to technology. 

In addition to time restriction, it is best to set an expectation early on for them to follow as they get older about what is appropriate to share online and with whom. If you are only comfortable with your child having close friends and family on digital platforms, it needs to be relayed early on. Additionally, if you would rather them not post photos of themselves without your permission, it also needs to be incorporated as a boundary before it comes up.

Instill a Safety Mindset

Young children are overly trusting by nature. There is not much difference between a human in real life and one on the internet for them. Because of that, it is crucial to have a conversation with your child about ways to keep themselves safe while online.

Many precautions are already accounted for through proper monitoring and supervision through the natural adult-child dynamic that parenting affords. However, as a child grows in age and begins to utilize different areas online, additional tools and conversations need to occur.

At a minimum, elementary-aged children need to understand the following components of online safety and technology:

  • Keeping identifying information private
  • Hacking and how it happens
  • Viruses and how to respond
  • Appropriate usage of social media and online forums
  • Cyber-bullying and what to do if it occurs
  • Password safety and its importance

Having this information in their arsenal will allow them to explore technology and interact with others safely and knowledgeably. 


With technology being such an integral part of our children’s lives and education, we have to prepare them for it early. Gradually introducing them is the best way to ensure that it is done carefully and with caution and boundaries. This process also prepares them for whatever technology teachers implement in their classrooms throughout their school years. 

With technology having a place in most life events and activities, the likelihood of your child using it for education is high. Many schools incorporate virtual components to supplement the student’s in-class learning experiences. 

Taking the time to educate your child on the safety components of technology and the internet will further set them up for success as they navigate their school years, as well as adulthood. Having the conversations and taking the basic steps in their younger years will afford them healthy habits and ready access to further education. 


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