Can tech help teens who feel unmotivated about school?

Various aspects of the learning experience can be boosted with a little help from Silicon Valley

Published September 23, 2017 7:29PM (EDT)


This article originally appeared in Common Sense Media.

Common Sense Media

High school is a challenging time in many teens' lives. They have way more demands, responsibilities, and complex social lives than in middle school. Managing this transition, along with the focus on academics and achievement, can make some teens unmotivated, prone to withdraw -- or even shut down. Teens who have special needs are often especially at risk in this new environment. The key is knowing why your teen may be unmotivated, so it's important to discuss your concerns with your teen and the teacher.

Technology can be beneficial for many teens because it gives them an alternative to traditional learning methods. In some cases, kids may feel more confident about their tech skills than they do about school. The right tools can give kids who are frustrated or unmotivated a new way to participate in school, one that allows them to control the pace and minimize distractions.

The main areas that tend to be frustrating are note-taking, math, and reading. Here are some ideas to give your kid a boost.

Note-taking. Taking notes can be extremely frustrating for some students. Experiment with different note-taking apps to see which ones help your kid and restore their confidence in this essential skill.

Math. Many teens struggle with math concepts. If your teen is telling you that they hate math, try these apps and sites.

Reading. A little extra support can make a big difference for kids who struggle with reading. Ereaders provide lots of options to make reading easier (and more fun). Fonts can be enlarged, a built-in dictionary can reduce frustration for kids who may not understand a word, and highlighting features are available to help kids remember important parts of a book. Help get your teen into reading with these strategies, and try these apps.

By Common Sense Media staff

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Common Sense Media High School Learning Difficulties Special Needs Tech