Archive: December 1, 2021

Does Technology Benefit Young Children’s Education?

Parents have had to fight the battle with their children as they get absorbed in a video or movie on an iPad, tablet, or smartphone. Our children have had better chances of getting Tom Cruise’s attention on the red carpet than we have.

It’s not uncommon for two-year olds to use iPads. Elementary schoolers are hooked up to videogames. We all have to deal with the challenge of getting middle-schoolers away from the computer long enough so they can eat decent food.

Technology is all around us and its impact on children is evident. But is technology helping them learn?
Technology is becoming more social and adaptive. It can also be an excellent teaching tool. As parents, it is important to set boundaries.

Software is today connecting children to online learning communities. It tracks their progress through lessons and games and tailors each student’s experience.

Your child will be well-versed in technology by the time they reach elementary school.

Learn with technology in school
Technology is becoming more important in schools. These are the three best ways to ensure that technology is being used effectively in your child’s classroom, regardless of whether it uses interactive Smartboards, laptops or other devices.

Children love to play with technology from digital cameras to iPads. Before giving these gadgets to children, what should early childhood professionals – and parents?

Let’s begin at the beginning: What is technology in early childhood?
Technology can be as simple or complex as a camera or audio recorder, a music player, TV or DVD player or more advanced technology such as iPads, tablets and smartphones that are used in child care centers, classrooms or at home.

Teachers have told me more than once that they don’t like technology. I ask them if they have ever taken a digital picture of their students or played a tape, record, or DVD with them. Or if they gave headphones to children to listen to stories.

Teachers have used technology for years. Teachers now have access to powerful tools such as iPads and iPhones for their professional and personal lives.

Technology is a tool.
It should not be used in child care centers or classrooms because it is cool. However, teachers can use it to support healthy development of children.

Teachers are using digital cameras, which is a more simple technology than iPads, to engage their students in learning. They may just be what they need.

Teachers must also be able integrate technology in the classroom and child care center as part of social justice.

It is unrealistic to assume all children have access to technology at home.

Lack of exposure can increase the digital divide, which is the difference between those who have and those who do not have access to digital technology. This could limit the school readiness and early success of some children.

As all children learn to read and write in the early stages of literacy, so too must they be taught how technology works. This includes how to open, use, and take care of it.

Experts are concerned that technology could be harmful to children.

Children spending too much time on screens is a serious concern, especially considering the number of screens in their lives.

Children as young as three years old are now glued to TVs, using their iPads and iPhones. They also watch their parents taking photos with a digital camera that has its own screen.

The TV screen was once all that existed.

This was the screen that we researched and worried about for over 30 years.

As a field, we know a lot about the effects of TV on learning and behavior in children. But we don’t know much about digital devices.

The American Academy of Pediatrics strongly discourages screen time in children younger than two years of age. However, the NAEYC/Fred Rogers position statements takes a slightly different stand.

It states that technology and media should not be used in excess, but it is important to consider how it is used.

What content is it?

Does it have an intention to be used?

Are they developmentally compatible?

We as parents need to be aware and sensitive about the potential drawbacks of technology, including its effects on vision, vocabulary, and physical development. Our kids’ overall development is also important.

Teachers and parents, I advise you to trust your gut instincts. If your child is watching too much of the screen, you can trust their instincts and turn it off.

Parents have the responsibility to help your child recognize that their computer use is limiting or restricting play time and interaction with other children. Encourage them to exercise and get outside to play.