In recent years, concerns have arisen about a generation of children constantly immersed in a technological world.
How much is too much?
And when should the introduction to technology be made? Many have concerns about how dependent our children are becoming on tech in their everyday life, and speculate that this may contribute to social, emotional, and even physical, problems in their future. But an early introduction to beneficial technology, during preschool years, both in the classroom and the home, can be enormously beneficial.
The Early Years Foundation Stage points out that preschool age kids learn , traditionally, in a variety of ways, such as singing, dancing, coloring, and movement. Preschool education is not so much about learning facts, but about learning to grow and express yourself as a social being. And the correct amount of technology introduced into the learning environment can help young students to improve their communications skills and creativity. Technology can be one more tool in building a healthy, well-rounded child.
The key to deciding what technology is appropriate for a preschooler is to follow the one of the most famous precepts of healthcare professionals - first, do no harm. Any tech app which includes physical danger or intimidation, is emotionally charged, or exploitative in any way does not belong in the hands of young children. And, quite aside from the type of application, you must consider the amount of time a child is exposed to applications. Never allow technology to become the major tool in the classroom, or at home. The emphasis should always remain on the real world, and the child’s place in it. Educational technology may well be useful in improving a child’s attention span, enabling them to develop skills more quickly, and engaging their interest on many levels. But it may also cause a disconnect from the real world, distancing them from their peers and teachers, and bring about a decrease in healthy outdoor play. As with many other things, a healthy balance is the key to success.
Some apps for you to try
Some of the best preschool apps out there make learning painless, and lots of fun. AlphaTots Alphabet teaches the alphabet with games and puzzles your child will enjoy. Peg + Cat Big Gig will have the little one singing and dancing as she learns about math. And Monkey Preschool Lunchbox will introduce your child to counting, letters, colors, shapes, and patterns as they fill a monkey’s lunchbox. Best of all, these apps are all available for a minimum charge on iTunes and Google Play.
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