Early childhood, usually classified as the period from birth to eight years, is a time when the rate of brain development is at its peak. It is a period of remarkable growth. Now, whether children should be exposed to digital devices during this highly critical period has been a debatable topic for long.
While critics may argue that technology during early childhood might end up being a waste of time and money, many experts beg to differ. Several kinds of research conducted in this domain prove otherwise and show that technology can actually aid learning if used appropriately.
Embracing Instead of Ignoring Technology
The past half-century has seen a dramatic increase in the number of technology platforms available and used by children. The intertwining of digital devices with daily lives is clearly shaping the way children learn, develop, and behave. It is nearly impossible to keep children completely away from technology. It is hence important for parents and teachers to be able to embrace technology in the lives of their children. And this can be done by positively monitoring them and guiding them towards educative digital content which can accelerate skill development.
Encouraging Cognitive Development
Digital education tools are a big help especially when children are learning to recognize different shapes, distinguish between colors and understand patterns. At a time when children are beginning to recognize several objects and start responding to pictorial simulations, engaging with rich imagery on screens can help with their evolving cognitive skills. The best platforms/apps integrate multimedia features in a way that is congruent with their learning goal. A digital learning interface based on game-play aids the construction of thought-process, enhances problem-solving skills and improves decision making by creating linkages of actions with results.
Heightening Level of Engagement
Parents, when asked about their biggest challenges in making their children learn different things at an early age, mostly blame ‘attention issues’ in young children. A child’s mind is busy absorbing everything that it comes in contact with. There is no ‘good-bad’ or ‘important-unimportant’ classification in the mind at this age. Hence, it becomes difficult to hold the attention of children when trying to teach them something. Digital education comes to rescue here. With the simultaneous audio-visual simulation integrated with learning topics, it becomes much easier to engage the child and make the whole learning process much more comprehensive and efficient.
Improving Social Interaction Skills
How technology can help improve children’s social skills may be mind-boggling for educators. One does not expect digital tools to be able to impart necessary social life skills to children. However, technology when leveraged collaboratively can be highly interactive and can teach important aspects of social communication. Some pre-schools give the opportunity to young children to solve video-based problems together. This helps them share ideas and think in a team-like manner.
At an age when children learn through discovery and exploration, technology helps provide answers to their ever-curious minds. The world is changing and it’s our responsibility to equip our children with all the tools necessary to make sense of the new world.