This quote by the American philosopher John Dewey is arguably the best summation of how technology impacts today’s education system.
It’s all around us and… it’s here to stay!
Technology seeps into our lives through television, internet, cell phones and numerous other modes. It is very important for children to be tech-savvy to become productive members of the future society. But is technology beneficial for development or a threat to children’s well-being?
How Technology Affects Children Positively
- Cognitive Skills: some games encourage children to use memory, attention, and thinking, thus enhancing cognitive skills.
- Language Development: a digitally-rich environment contributes to children’s vocabulary development with complex speech skill exposure.
- Visualisation: wisely-used, technology can serve as a great medium for children to learn and remember through visual and audio interactions. Advanced technology like Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality are a boon.
The Flip Side
Too much of any good thing is… never good. Abuse of technology can have negative consequences.
Technology can lead to emotional detachment or less physical activity. Also, children can put themselves in danger by unintentionally sharing information online. Child lock features come to rescue to ensure safety and prevent exposure to content not meant for children.
We, as parents, cannot and should not keep children away from technology and rob them of the opportunity of excelling in the future. Instead, the key is to actively participate in what and how these interactions take place and ensuring that the screen time is meaningful and productive.
Be creative! One way is to include physical activities around what a child learns on screen. Try it – teach your child about the zookeeper and ask him/her to be a zookeeper taking care of the stuffed toys (the animals in the zoo). Role plays are fun. Or take them to a zoo and request to meet the zookeeper!
Learning games, like Shifu, offer good screen time. They combine two great play patterns – digital technology and physical games like flash cards to create a unique experience.
We would love to hear about how you create a balance between physical and digital play time. Tell us in the comments below!