In the digital age, one does find children as early as two or three having an uncanny knack of using different digital tools that comes in their reach.
Henceforth, the more children are allowed to operate technology, the more you find them spending hours exploring it. However, it is only when technology is used sensibly that allows one to understand the benefits of technology in early child development and their learning evidently. It does boost the social and the cognitive skills of children.
“Kids who are interacting with the screen get better much faster, make fewer mistakes and learn faster” said Heather Kirkorian, the Assistant professor of Human development and family studies, University of Wiscosin.
Research findings from the University of Wisconsin, show an interesting fact that, children as early as two and three are more likely to respond to video screens that prompt them to touch than those which does not demand for any interaction.
Going by what research says and keeping in mind the assorted range of edtech resources available in the market, parents and teachers now have a better chance to select developmentally appropriate digital resources. Selection of an apt tool allows parents and teachers to create an interactive environments for children to feel engaged in mastering specific skills at their own individual rates. At the same time, technology can also be used by mentors to challenge children and help them follow the prompts to high level of engagement.
Although, technology is an effective tool for supporting early childhood development and their learning, yet it cannot replace hands-on-activities like art, sand exploration, reading books, drama and writing. And this is exactly why, parental and professional educational judgment is necessary in deciding which technology resources to use and the length of time the children can have access to technology resources to avoid children from the adverse effects of technology addictions.
Technology Influence on Early Childhood Development
- Helps parent/teachers teach cause and effect to the child to enhance their level of curiosity and encourage the child to explore things.
- Assist in fine-tuning the child’s motor skills and also enhance their eye hand coordination as they learn to handle operating touch screens or push keys in the keyboard and use the mouse to drag or select something in the screen.
- Students can now carry out independent researches with the help of technology and this is supporting home learning in various ways. Kids have explorative mind and to feed their inquisitiveness to know on people, places and different parts of the world, technology is standing up to be a great resource.
- As parents or teachers use technology in everyday life, children through observation learn the different utility of different types of technologies for different occasions. Say, kids see their parents using laptop to operate official tasks, research on something and use mobile devices for phone call communication, text message communication and to locate places or may be order food online instantly.
- Enables kids to make long-distance communication and talk to friends and family who lives at distant places or are out for work.
A study from the Stirling University’s school of education shows- the family’s attitude to technology at home is also an important factor in influencing a child’s relationship with technology. To quote what was highlighted in the research, “the experience of three to five year olds are mediated by each family’s distinct sociocultural context and each child’s preferences.
It is not the technology that dominates or drives the children’s experiences; rather their desires and their family culture shaped their forms of engagement.”
When kids are encouraged and helped to understand the educational content, they start absorbing knowledge bit by bit, level by level with engagement. Children can watch a lion in their actual habitat on screen rather than just read on it or see a static picture or they can interact with letters and words by dragging letters around the screen and know how sounds work. Because of the growing edtech market, children can now learn anything- right from the names of animals to the characteristics that make mammals different from reptiles.
Online environment has provided children with a virtual space and something that they would not get either at home or in classroom.However, it is important to note that, not all technology are beneficial. It’s just the best ones that integrate multimedia features in a way that is congruent with story or learning goal to support learning. Modern day edtech solutions present content in meaningful context that help in engaging the child and allows them to carry on creative exploration right from a ripe age.
Perhaps this is the reason, one can find an emergence of early childhood education trends across the globe. Technology in the early childhood education space has indeed brought about exciting time for the parents and teachers to start mentoring kids in an exciting manner. It also allows kids to be at their best without ruining their joy and creative mind.
Have you started using technology for early child development? What is your personal experience on using technology for early child development and learning? Do not forget to write to us on your views through comments in the comment box below.