Your Child and Technology: What Your Second Grader Needs to Know
Your second grader will learn to use technology tools like email and simple graphing software.
By GreatSchools Staff
Technology skills your second grader needs
To be on track, here’s what your child should know by the end of second grade:
•Computer terminology: learn the proper terminology to communicate about computers, such as the monitor, keyboard, mouse, printer, and speakers, and software terms (and how to find them on the screen) such as menu, file, save, print, and quit.
•Keyboard and mouse: continue mastering (after learning the basics in first grade) use of the keyboard and mouse; use a mouse to click, drag, and drop; know the keys on the left and right side of the keyboard; practice typing the home keys and using the space bar; use the correct body position, hand-wrist position, and proper techniques for striking the keys. (Some schools may be using a program that teaches your second grader how to type).
•Send email: know the basics of how to send and receive email.
•Publishing basics: with guidance from the teacher, write and publish or print a simple document using a web-publishing program.
•Web basics: understand how to do online research and navigate websites the teacher has bookmarked for them.
By learning these skills in second grade, your child will have the basic knowledge needed to start doing research and communicating thoughts in writing, which are essential to learning core academic subjects like reading, writing, math, and science.
Using technology for language arts
As second graders become more proficient in reading and writing, multimedia tools can be used more frequently as academic aids. According to the second grade Common Core Standards, second graders should know how to use digital tools to "produce and publish" written work (anything from a short story to a poem to a report on a historical figure) — and even illustrate this work using KidPix or digital photos. Your second grader may use presentation software such as PowerPoint to add to a class book or slide show, making a slide with both pictures and text. Your second graders might also be expected to know how to use online dictionaries and glossaries to find definitions. In addition, as second graders refine their abilities of self-expression, they might be asked to create audio recordings of stories or poems.
Using technology for math
Your second grader may use spreadsheet programs like Excel to organize data and make graphs (technical skills that will also be essential for science). He may work from a template in which the spreadsheet is already created, so your child can enter the information needed. Free websites like Kahn Academy can help second graders complete a full math curriculum whether they want to brush up or they’re ready to race ahead. A bonus for parents whose kids love playing with smartphones or tablets: knowing how to navigate a touch screen device comes in handy for strengthening math skills by taking advantage of educational apps (like this), which allow children to touch and manipulate math concepts on the screen.
Using technology for science
In just a few years, your second grader will need to know how to research and write detailed reports on everything from sea turtles to supernovas. This year, your child may build toward that goal by learning more advanced techniques for conducting online scientific research (for example, looking up facts about Saturn on a website about the solar system). Your child’s classroom may be equipped with a full range of tech tools, like cameras, computers, tablets, or white boards, which help bring science to life. Children can watch close-up footage of whales, rainforests, or space. They might use apps to play with animated versions of the elements in the periodic table or simulations of tornados or the night skyor even watch science experiments online (like this). As with math, your second grader may be required to use online graphing tools like Excel for science assignments to, for example, contribute to a class spreadsheet about temperatures taken over a period of time.