How Finding The Best Psychologist And Adding Technology Can Improve Kids’ Learning Processes
Technology can enhance our learning processes if used correctly.
Meet Dave McAfee, principal psychologist at MindShift, LLC. We caught up with Dave as he recently gave a presentation at the local Crime Stoppers office in the greater Natchitoches area. Dave has worked in the nonprofit sector for many years, and he brings that knowledge into his professional career. He believes that the five most important areas where professionals can provide the most benefit to children are the family, school, church, community, and career.
Dave started out by stating that organizations like Crime Stoppers recognize the value of people like him—people who understand that children learn how to make good decisions based on what they see and hear in their environment. I caught up with Dave before his presentation and discussed some of the benefits of having a psychologist in the volunteer organization.
Like many volunteers, Dave was initially a way to provide services for disadvantaged families. He learned about Crime Stoppers through his sister and she told him they were reaching out to psychologists. This led to a training that is a prerequisite for any psychologist who wishes to get involved with Crime Stoppers. Dave has been volunteering with the program for a year now. It’s the type of experience that is gratifying for anyone, but particularly rewarding for someone who is older and has professional experience in counseling. Dave has enjoyed helping police officers with outreach to children in the community.
Besides providing support to the families that are involved in Crime Stoppers programs, Dave is also responsible for finding ways to educate children who are age 11-13, which is the age where children should understand the technology they are using. Dave approached Crime Stoppers with a small donation he made to a two-week pre-school education program that aimed to teach children the tech tools. The information is then used to ensure that Crime Stoppers members as well as other youth who have a limited understanding of the technology used can be informed. Like many psychologists, he is eager to see how children are learning these technologies, and if there are any new areas where they can learn more about the technology.
There is a growing trend where parents take their children to the computer store to learn more about computers. Dave likes the idea. He says it’s an educational program that has great benefits for children, including learning how to use technology in a safe environment. He also feels it provides an opportunity for children to learn about technology that they can feel comfortable teaching to their peers. Even if you do not have your own children, the activity can be educational for you if you learn a new skill or two. Dave made it clear that he was not claiming that children needed to learn about technology, but he believes that in the long run, technology makes education easier.
MindShift was founded in 1990, and Dave is the principal psychologist, so he shares the responsibility for overseeing all of the issues that affect MindShift, LLC employees. MindShift currently employs a full-time psychologist, and the office also has a full-time and part-time social worker who work in the volunteer setting. The mental health space is a relatively new arena in the national arena, but MindShift makes a concerted effort to go through their HR policy with their employees so there is always a full range of mental health services available and available for employees and staff of MindShift, LLC. Dave commented that in order to hire the best of the best, he needs to be able to select individuals who are the best suited for the work that they are doing.