Technology and Young Children
Technology is continually becoming more advanced and widely used in our generation. Sometimes it seems like our preschool aged children intrinsically know how to work technology, sometimes even better than adults. Technology can be an important tool in aiding how children learn and communicate. With this in mind, it’s smart to keep some guidelines in mind when using technology and young children.
1. Age and Moderation The American Academy of Pediatrics states that children ages 0-2 years should not be exposed to technology and media use at all. Even “background” TV. The use of technology for children this age has many negative affects, and can actually hinder their development. Children ages 3-5 should have limited use of technology, at most an hour a day.
2. Quality When selecting apps, movies, or TV shows, quality is always the key. The technology chosen should be focused to your individual child’s level of learning. It should not feature violence. It should engage your child so they are actively learning with it, rather than passively soaking it in. It should not have gender or ethnicity bias, and apps should be geared towards learning, rather than just playing with a popular TV character.
3. Shared Activity As often as possible try to be actively involved in your child’s technology use. You are their first teacher and you can extend their learning farther than the app or TV show is able. Help them connect what’s happening on the screen with their daily experiences. Show them how the real world connects to the world they see on the screen.
If used correctly technology can be a wonderful learning tool for young children. Just remember to use age appropriate, quality programs that you can help enhance for your child, and enjoy the new ways of learning that are being discovered everyday!