If you are a parent or grandparent of a toddler you may be asking your self how much technology should you expose your child to? How can we build computer skills and at the same time limit the overall amount of time our children spend isolated from others and interacting one on one with technology.
Statistically 90 percent of children between the ages of 5 and 17 use computers, 97 percent of children at the kindergarten and first grade level have access to computers at school or at home and use them on a regular basis.
Parents and teachers alike are trying to find the balance with technology use at home and at school. We live and work in in a technologically rich environment and a vital part of the educational process is to build computer confidence and competence in or children. We know that toddlers and young children are using technology, computers, IPADs, IPHONEs, IPODs, so how do we ensure that they enhance learning?The National Association for the Education of Young children advise that computers cannot replace hands on learning activities such as playing with blocks, water, exploration with writing materials, and through dramatic play. The Northwest Regional Education Laboratory recommends in their report, Technology in Early Childhood: Finding the Balance, that no more than two hours of “screen time”(I PAD, IPHONE, Computer, TV, or video game time combined) a day. The implication for us as parents or teachers is to teachers is to find that blind between time technological focused activities and play, fresh air and other hands on independent and group activities.
By focusing on educational and easy-to-navigate activities, limiting time on computers and by spending quality time with our children, we can help them build a foundation of success and skills for life in the 21st century.