Technology for Good: How it can Inspire and Benefit our Kids
Could technology be a force for good? Kids who make Minecraft palaces today could be the eco-architects of tomorrow. Kids who fairly balance out the stats in their Roblox creations might be sharing out resources in a community cooperative in a few years’ time. STEM education and particularly tech education is about so much more than making sure our children get great careers. It could be about saving the world.
What is Technology for Good?
Tech for good is the concept that, overall, technology has an overall positive impact on humanity. More specifically, we’re thinking about the ways technology not only improves the lives of others but encourages people, particularly our younger generations, to believe that this is the right way to think. Putting others first is at the heart of so many innovations. These range from something as simple as more inclusive tags on social media platforms to technologies designed to support specific needs.
A great example of this is the Timeless app, created by Gen Arm 2Z ambassador, Emma Yang from New York. One of the many aspiring girls in tech, Emma was inspired to innovate due to the distance between her and her grandmother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease. By designing an app that allows people to stay engaged with each other across long distances, Emma has helped bring people across the globe together whilst also supporting those who struggle with memory issues.
This is a powerful way that technology can inspire our children to do good in the world. It empowers them to run with their ideas and gives them the tools to make those ideas a reality.
Education for All
One of the key ways technology works for good is by providing opportunities that simply weren’t there even a few years ago. Kids think nothing of downloading an app on their phone or tablet to help them learn something new. Language apps, meditation apps, apps that teach you the bones and muscles of the human body, or even how the universe began are all freely available. They’re often packed with features like gamification to motivate and intrigue young minds.
Beyond self-led learning, education in schools and other formal settings can take advantage of advancements in technology, too. This might be as simple as swapping out old-style projectors for interactive whiteboards. It could mean saving energy and paper by providing homework assignments via an app rather than stacks of printed sheets.
For kids that want to learn about technology itself, groups like Girls into Coding hold engaging, challenging, and fun peer-led events. These events allow children to interact and enthuse about robotics, coding, 3D design, 3D printing, physical computing, and a host of other subjects that are becoming a part of many careers. Empowering girls in STEM subjects gives them the skills and confidence to pursue any path they want.
Tech Helps Kids Prepare for the Future
With that in mind, it’s important to be open to the idea of your children embracing technology — safely of course. As code and AI becomes more deeply integrated into aspects of daily life, allowing kids to learn as much as they can about the technologies around them is the best way to prepare them for the future.
Innovation in Design
As we’ve seen from Emma Yang, today’s technologies allow young inventors to be truly innovative. Our young women in tech can see a problem, create a solution, then find the technology to make that solution a reality. Tech companies really are starting to recognize how the younger generations are bringing fresh ideas to the table. A great example of this is Arm and their cohort of Gen Z ambassadors.
Of course, not every child will become an astonishing innovator, and that’s okay! The advantages of early adoption of skills like coding include learning to think logically and can lead to better problem-solving skills. That’s something children can take with them into any walk of life. As we move further into the 21st century we’ve already come across any number of big-ticket problems that need solving: climate change, pandemic situations, and a range of social injustices being the tip of a very large iceberg. Empowering children to problem solve, and more than that, to have a passion for problem-solving, could be the only way forward for a better world.
It’s easy to be wary of how fast technology is developing right now. For older generations, it can seem surreal how easily Gen Z get to grips with new advances. In contrast, for many of our youngsters, using tech is as simple as turning on a tap or opening a cupboard door — an accepted part of daily life. But whether you’re a tech whizz yourself or feeling a bit left behind, it’s reassuring to know that technology for good holds plenty of opportunities to help our children be a part of a future we, and they, can be proud of.