How to Keep Up with Your Tech-Savvy College Child

When you look around at today’s college campuses, you’ll find majority of students toting around campus texting on their smartphones, talking to their friends, and listening to their iPods simultaneously. Whether they’re posting a picture on Facebook, re-tweeting their favorite celebrity, or simply checking their school emails, it’s obvious that today’s college students are well on their way to becoming the leaders of a technological revolution that is beginning to take over the college curriculum of leading universities from around the nation.

A recent article from The New York Times takes an in-depth look into Northwestern University’s use of hand-held devices to help engage with and monitor the actions of students within the classroom. With more than a half-million students using these new devices this fall on several thousand college campuses, including Harvard, the University of Arizona, and Vanderbilt, we wanted to find out more about how this technological revolution is affecting the parents of these technologically advanced students.

iphone-apps-billion-tbi-resized-600In order to keep up with your tech-savvy son or daughter while they are away at college, here are a few tips you want to consider following:

Learn How To Text: According to findings from the Nielsen Company, the average young adult sends and receives 1,630 texts per month. While many parents prefer to call or send an email to their college child, it is clear that a large number of today’s students prefer to communicate via text messaging. If you want to communicate with your child without intruding or encroaching on their day-to-day campus activities, texting will provide you with a fast and easy way to do so. Whether you need to remind your child to call a certain relative, or simply want to say a quick “hello” and “love you”, texting is ideal for any parent with a child in college.

Get On Facebook: Almost every single college student, and a great deal of high school students, log onto Facebook every single day. If you want to stay connected to your child while they are away from home, then you too need to create your very own Facebook profile. Research by Larry D. Rosen, professor of psychology at California State University-Dominguez Hills and author of the new book Rewired: Understanding the iGeneration and the Way They Learn, show that more than 70 percent of today’s college kids are more than happy to ‘friend’ their parents on Facebook (Our Advice: Ask them to ‘friend’ you before doing so yourself). If you child is up for it, have them help you create your Facebook profile page as a way to let them teach you about something they’re passionate about, which is a great way to connect with them and show them you care.

Know About The Newest Fads: With all of today’s technological advancements, our world is constantly changing, and so are the products in it; from the Palm Pilot came the Blackberry, and from the iPhone came today’s newest fad, the iPad. Within its first eight months, Apple sold a whopping 8.25 million iPads, and many college students are jumping at the chance to get their hands on one of these up-and-coming product. From apps that allow students to rent or buy their textbooks, to apps that help them create flashcards for their next exam, there are an astounding number of both iPhone and iPad applications that have been created with the college student in mind. To make sure that both you and your child know about all of these remarkable apps, we recommend checking out The Daily Beast’s list of the 14 Best iPhone Apps for the college student that will help ease the pain of returning to the collegiate grind.

Do you have more advice for parents who are looking to stay ‘plugged in’ with their college child? Comment & share below!

To learn more about how you can keep up with you tech-savvy child while they’re away at college, check out these articles from Newsweek Education’s list of ‘Student Tech Trends’.