As technology continues to evolve, the next generation will be the ones driving innovation and change. So it’s important that they learn how to understand, utilise and adapt to the new advances we’re seeing every day.
Introducing children to technology at a young age in an educational format can have huge benefits! As we see the importance of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) learning and the opportunities it can open up, incorporating technology in early childhood education seems like an obvious choice.
So, what are the benefits of using technology in early years education?
When it comes to using technology as part of early years education, it’s important that children are properly supported by adults while learning. When the use of technology is combined with social interaction and guidance from parents or Childhood Educators, it can have great benefits for children!
Whether or not you agree that children should have a cap on the amount of ‘screen time’ they have each day, the fact is that we live in a digital age. Computers and smart devices are not just a big part of many different types of jobs, but they’re also a part of our everyday lives. With this in mind, introducing children to technology at a young age can be helpful to their development. What seems to concern most people is that children may not necessarily be interacting with content that is seen as ‘beneficial’ to their development.
One of the most important things people can learn about technology use is how to make the most of it, and not come to rely on it too heavily. It needs to be balanced as part of a healthy lifestyle. It’s still important to eat healthy, to exercise, and to socialise while still making use of technology in your day to day life, this is a great example to set for your little ones!
The same goes for children and early years development. While technology definitely has its benefits, it’s also important for children to get outside, play, and interact physically with their friends. A balanced and healthy approach to learning will involve a mix of technology and more traditional methods.
3 Benefits of incorporating technology in a child’s early development
It can support STEM learning. STEM learning focuses on teaching the next generation the skills and knowledge they need for the future. In an ever-changing world where the jobs of today may not exist in thirty, twenty, or ten years’ time, it’s more important than ever that we equip children today with the necessary skills needed for the future. Technology in early childhood education can assist in STEM learning, and prepare children for the challenges of the future.
It can open up new learning opportunities. Were you ever told by your parents to go and look a word up in the dictionary if you didn’t know what it meant? With the help of e-readers and other smart devices, children can simply click on a word to learn what it means, giving them easier access to a larger vocabulary. In some scenarios, they can click to hear how the word is correctly pronounced. It can also give them the chance to experience things they might not otherwise have access to, such as a virtual tour of the British Museum or the chance to see into the lives of zoo animals with a live stream.
It can help children ‘learn how to learn’. Many schools in Australia already incorporate the use of technology in their curriculums. Introducing pre-school-age children to technology can help them develop the skills needed to succeed when they move to primary school.
It's super important that we keep our little ones safe online. Supervision is only one way to ensure the children are not engaging in inappropriate communication. There are apps and programs available to help parents monitor what programs their children are using, as well as who can see that activity. Anti-virus software and anti-malware software are necessities for keeping personal tech safe from malicious programs.
Technology is a prevalent aspect of our modern society. Children born today are exposed to more different forms of technology than ever before. Whether devices are used for education, play, or only entertainment, parents should carefully monitor the role technology has in the lives of their children.
If you have any questions or concerns about toddlers and technology please do not hesitate to ask!