There's a lot of talk these days about young children and the use of new technologies. We all know they love grabbing for our devices, but when is the best time to introduce your child to them?
Many of us are finding our own way and are using technology with our younger kids. In this new normal we're using Skype, FaceTime or Zoom to interact with our loved ones, and we are also co-viewing e-books and playing with some age appropriate interactive apps. Is this all ok?
It's more than ok. Early childhood education leaders are chiming in on this subject. The overall consensus recognizes that using technology and interactive media, with supervision, can help with development for infants and toddlers; especially in cognitive, social and emotional areas.
Young children need opportunities to develop technology-handling skills along with digital literacy which is rapidly replacing old book-handling skills, especially within the educational system. There have even been some recommendations for children developing these basic skills before the age of 6. So it's no surprise they're reaching for our devices, they're ready.
When considering the myriad of learning and creative advantages that high-quality interactive media can offer it is most important to think about the content. As kids are introduced to touchscreens they'll need content that helps them explore, create, think, listen, make decisions, observe, and play.