Children Become What They Dream of Using Technology Properly

Children Become What They Dream of Using Technology Properly

Claudia Berbeo is convinced that technology allows an infinite world of possibilities, provided that they are used correctly.

Claudia Berbeo is convinced that technology allows an infinite world of possibilities, provided that they are used correctly.

She moves amidst screens, keys, bits, likes, and much more… She has been doing it since she was very young, and with her experience, she has built a small universe, where her two young children: Caroline and Brady, are the protagonists of this story.

It all began when she, from the Center for Research and Development in Information and Communication Technologies (CINTEL), and in the Ministry of ICT, as an advisor on digital strategies, of the former vice minister Carolina Hoyos Turbay, was in charge of designing and implement dynamics, for people to take over and empower Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), efficiently, that is, to make them part of their tasks, to take advantage of them and improve the quality of life.

It considers that technologies and technological devices are a mediation that allows children to show various scenarios that go beyond traditional Google searches, for example: applications to practice reading, mathematics, identify animals or play with virtual reality visiting places historical, museums, in short.

“They are a wonderful complement because it also allows sharing experiences and connecting with other children around the world, to learn about their cultures, traditions and languages. The possibilities are dreamed of and infinite.”

And Claudia's history with technology does not end when she decides to travel to the United States. Her children, Caroline Cronin and Brady Cronin, were born there, both arrived with the chip under their arms, and like her mother, they have seen in technological devices a fun way to teach others.

They can be the smallest and most charming teachers in the world … And that's the way it is, because at the hands of their parents Claudia and Sean, they connect and generate content of interest, not only for children of their age…But, for everyone. They love their role and they enjoy it day by day, just see their staging on social networks. “They take on the role together, with their dad and with me. And they are happy to share what they do."

Caroline is six years old, and her oral expression is quite striking, she has a very powerful voice. She is bilingual, and she has grown up hearing her dad speak English, and her mom Spanish. Her little brother Brady is four years old, and as a good Colombian son, his spark is evident.

Caroline and the Super Kids: Much More Than Stories

Seeing her little girl's talents, Claudia made short story videos, using English and Spanish vocabulary. And Caroline and the Super Kids emerged more than a year ago. In the first instance, small videos were made to teach Spanish in the United States, which would later give them the opportunity to launch a YouTube channel for people to learn or practice Spanish and others; they will practice English.

But, the pandemic arrived, and faced with this eventuality, they thought about how interesting it would be to connect live with the followers they had so far. So it was. "We began to share, every day, one letter of the alphabet, in some way, we helped entertain the children who were at home."

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They went through all the letters, and they thought that the quarantine was going to end before them, but it was not like that. They went ahead with smaller broadcasts and other videos with the Word of the Day and various content.

It is not child's play. It is a fairly innovative proposal, where Claudia Berbeo and her husband not only click next to their little ones, they also understand the importance of this original way of teaching, and more so in times where communication moves through the screens, and it is precisely the blog, which allows them to be and be part of this excellent teaching and learning experience.

The project that Claudia carries out with her children keeps them connected and interested in the Spanish language. “We work every day to make it clear, with good grammar and pronunciation, that they don't sound like "gringo children” speaking Spanglish. They understand and speak Spanish perfectly and with a very neutral accent, which is visible in the videos.”

These little ones have fun watching the videos they make. “They laugh and enjoy it, and they start to give me ideas of what else we can do. When they watch the videos, their creativity explodes."

Caroline and Brady could be defined as children who are not afraid of anything, they always smile, but when a camera is put in front of them, they become real artists. In Caroline's case, her mother remembers that she loved to speak into the microphone from a very young age, so the initiative to click was hers. "She told me that she wanted to teach English and Spanish by making videos for everyone to learn, and that's when the adventure began," said Claudia.

Between Parents and Children

From the first moment there was a connection with Caroline and Brady's followers; they received messages through the platforms. "For her, that was phenomenal, she has always received affection and love on social networks," says Claudia.

As it is a product that moves through cyberspace, it demands, like everything else, a good production process. And Claudia, she does know about this, not all videos have the same function; it all depends on the content to be shown. “There are videos that are taken during the arts or science projects that we do, so the preparation is focused on the project while I shoot. There are more elaborate videos, where we take a theme and develop it in a sequence that we put together."

For her, the important thing is to let her children innovate and believe at the right time. For this reason, many times the production does not depend on her, but on her children. “I respect her times, I respect her childhood, her games, her sports. Childhood is a treasure and I am not going to interrupt it by recording the videos. That is why we do not have so many videos on the channel, but the ones that we are doing, we do with our hearts and we try to make them match our precious audience."

ICT and Education for Children

But what, then, parents' role so that their children take on technology in a didactic way and for educational purposes? In this sense, education is fundamental in itself for this to happen, and it is not necessarily always related to the use of technologies.

“For me it is key to consider that technologies are not the center of attention and that is important. Technologies are a tool to enhance education, and they are just one more, a very good one, but one more. To the extent that we understand this, we will know how to give it an importance and an adequate space in our lives, and as such, guide our children in its proper use.”

There is something that cannot be put aside, and that this pandemic caused by COVID-19 brought teachers, parents and children much closer to the screens. But Claudia Berbeo warns that “parents are not teachers, but we can learn together. There are online resources that you can get overwhelmed trying to find the best for your children."

For example, she recommends that it would be ideal to find virtual communities or spaces, where other parents have already tried tools and share their experience. "On our blog, for example, we have a nature section, where we always tell how we identify animals or plants that we find, using Google Lens."

And so, in the midst of screens, clicks, likes, and much more, technology becomes for this great family a medium that allows them to innovate and contribute because they are much more than four in this great adventure that they decided to undertake to teach and learn with just a click.

You can find Caroline and the Super Kids on YouTube, their website, and Instagram as @carolineandthesuperkids, and on Twitter as @carosuperkids.

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