Children greet technology without fear, but with a drive mixed with curiosity and exploration. Quickly, they learn how to get to ‘their’ e-story or game. This usage comes with a mixed blessing for families. The American Academy of Pediatrics (2011) recommends that children under the age of 2 years should not watch television or have ‘screen time’; children older than 2 should have no more than two hours of total screen time a day. Thus, the challenge for parents: what is the best thing to do?
It turns out that parents’ interactions with children during computer/smart phone usage can make a large difference in how material is interpreted and the learning itself. Educators call this scaffolding, or helping children learn and understand a concept. Children using such technology should not replace the parent/child interaction, but simply be another type of learning together.
The e-books, games and activities should be selected because they are appropriate for your child’s level of understanding and develop. Indeed, technology can enhance children’s social and cognitive abilities. Their interactions with technology should be playful, creative, and encourage exploration. And children with specific learning needs or who are English Language Learners may find technology most beneficial.
To read more about standards for use of technology with children you may visit the National Association for the Education of Young Children & Fred Rogers Center. (2012). Technology & interactive media as tools in early childhood programs serving children from birth through age 8.
Find out more about this topic on Deb's website www.children1st.us