Your child has probably been using some form of computer for years now, playing memory games, looking at pictures and just generally having fun with technology. In first and second grades, the Internet entered the equation with guided lessons. This year, your child will find out what the Web can really do.
No longer just an instrument of fun and imagery, the Internet will become a place for research -- for finding answers to any questions you have. Third graders will learn how to efficiently use search engines and how to determine which Web sites are credible sources of information and which aren't. They'll use online resources for research projects. Some might even learn to type.
Your third grader will experience technology as "information technology," opening up a whole new world of access to knowledge. It might make you seem a bit less all-knowing, but the ability to find answers independently is a priceless one that will affect how your child learns, works and experiences the world for the rest of his or her life.
Who knows, your third grader might end up teaching you a thing or two about technology, because these lessons will be coming home every day in the form of homework -- about 30 minutes per night this year. So clear off the kitchen table, and remember: Help, don't do!
For more information on third grade, including ways you can support your child's learning at home, check out the links on the next page.