The key to introducing young children to technology is to present it with balance and transparency. That is, whatever your personal philosophy around the role of technology in our lives, remaining objective will allow children to form their own relationship with it. While many of us have transitioned from relatively low-tech to multipurpose tech lives in the space of a few generations, there is little chance that young children will live in a world untouched by technology.
Parental Concerns about Technology
Many parents are concerned about the impact of technology on young minds and the way digital worlds threaten to replace real ones. This is understandable.
However, the inevitability of a technological presence in our lives need not be alarming. The more technology is treated as a commonplace part of the landscape, the more it can be put to work, freeing up time for us to move closer to the things we value. A computer may, for example, simply save us time in one place so we can spend more time being creative with our hands in another.
Technology is as much a part of a child’s life as learning to dress, getting to school, or going shopping. Further to this, technology has many uses as a learning tool and can be used very successfully when balanced with a full range of learning tools and methods. So how can you introduce technology in a natural and balanced way?
Learning about Technology
Most children have some experience with technology simply by observing it in the world around them. From mobile phones to laptops, ATMs to stereo systems, the work of technology is everywhere. Talking to your child about these things and what they do will introduce technological concepts in a natural way.
Learning to Use Technology
Allowing children to become involved is the next step. In the same way that you would introduce them to planting a seedling or making a cake, children can learn to use buttons to control devices. They can also learn about the mechanisms and outcomes of technological processes.
This is an important step in developing an understanding of technology as a system. And when you think about it, it is so important that children feel empowered to make use of technology as a tool they can control rather than one that is controlling them. Developing agency in the world of technology is the best way forward for future generations. This will allow children to make the shift from simply being consumers of technology to being creators of it.
Learning with Technology
By the time your child reaches a formal learning environment, they will most likely have been exposed to simple computer programs designed to assist learning in early childhood. Many child care centres have learning programs that incorporate the use of an iPad or tablet. Children can make use of these to play music, learn phonics, or practice letter numbers through interactive apps.
The use of technology in an early childhood learning setting is most successful when balanced against a comprehensive program that incorporates the rest of the learning spectrum.
To find out more about the ToBeMe Early Learning curriculum or for any other enquiries, contact us today.
Active imaginative play, physical activity, gardening, music, mindfulness, and meditation are all equal parts of the curriculum at ToBeMe. You can be sure that your child is getting the very best of all these wonderful forms of learning. What more could you want for your child?
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