Technology and Our Children. What place should be given to technology in childhood education?
Technology has become part and parcel of life for people of all ages young and old. To an extent, technology is playing a significant role in daily life for young children. Children aged 2 –5 years spend at least three hours a day with technology mainly for entertainment. Thus, technology should also have a place in childhood education and should be put in use when the activity being undertaken is beneficial and developmentally appropriate to a child.
There are several ways technology can be incorporated in childhood education. To begin with, technology should be added to education toolbox. Research shows that technology can be very supportive in learning when providers and families use it cautiously. Technology integration not only engages the children but also gives the teacher an opportunity to differentiate learning in a variety of mediums. Digital books, as one of the technology mediums, can be availed in tablets with interactive features to better reading experience.
Secondly, the use of Internet can be optimized as a research tool by teachers or parents to filter out appropriate content useful for childhood education. Audio book files can be downloaded into iTunes for listening as well as video content for viewing. These activities incorporate all aspects of literacy such as speaking, listening, reading, and writing.
To add to that, computers should be incorporated in classrooms with appropriate software for the targeted group. This is most beneficial when used as a natural part of the learning experience and should be used as part of ongoing curriculum. It is, however, important for a teacher or an adult to offer guidance and monitor computer use if young children are using computers. As children mature, they use computers more independently and the teacher’s role moves from guidance to monitoring and active facilitation.
Also, to enable children reap the greatest benefits from using technology, software’s must be developed with appropriate content that is consistent with the way children learn and develop.
In conclusion, technology is a tool that provide additional way for children to learn and should be used appropriately. All children, including those from low-income parents, should be given an opportunity to acquire basic technology literacy skills and measures should be undertaken to ensure digital divide is eliminated so that all children can benefit from these important tools for learning and skill developments.