There is a lot of discourse about how and when children should be introduced to and use technology. Of course, while we hope that our children will still enjoy the great outdoors, it’s hard to ignore the fact that almost everything we do runs on technology in some way.
Generations of children will never know what it is like to grow up with tablets, mobile phones, and a range of other electronic devices.
Even schools are utilizing technology in the learning process because many jobs as they grow will involve technology. Research into how digital literacy and digital equity intertwine also shows us that children who have access to technology can have an improved learning experience.
But there are other benefits to allowing children access to technology (where this is possible).
While things like hand-eye coordination happen through coloring and playing with toys, technology can also have a significant impact. Surprisingly to many, online games requiring the child to take action can also improve those core competencies.
Games and other online activities encourage attention to detail and even problem-solving skills. Critical thinking skills are an essential part of life. For example, it is a critical thinking skillset that will help with decision-making in the workplace, studying, and writing.
What makes the technology even more interesting for the younger ages is when they form the basis for their language use. Learning how to pronounce words, process information as well as learning numbers and letters.
When it comes to reading skills, read this: Tablet vs. Reader – What Works Best for Children?
Engagement and Imagination
We often consider a child who can play with dolls or teddies as having a good imagination. And that a game from a tablet might just spoon-feed them information while they parrot it back.
However, interactive games, specifically those that will reward, helps children to develop logical reasoning and start to set internal long and short goals.
This is age-dependent, but as an example, a child knows that if they complete seven math sums in the game, they get a gem to add on their scoreboard. After six gems, they unlock a new level.
The short-term goal becomes the single gem; the long-term goal becomes the six gems. In between, they complete the maths sums.
Learning the correct way to complete a range of tasks in a game will give the child a sense of completion. Depending on the type of game the child is playing, they may also improve logical thinking and mathematical skills.
Once the child is a little bit older, and perhaps they move on to the internet rather than stand-alone games, they can also learn about different worldviews, opinions, information, and cultures they may not typically encounter.
They are increasing their engagement in the world around them and their imagination for what could be possible.
Of course, a large amount of adult supervision is essential for the type of information they have access to on the internet. Over time they will learn the limits and stay within the safe zone.
Studies show that children may ask as many as 300 questions a day – and for most of their life, it is their parents, teachers, and other family members that need to be the source of all information.
Access to the internet brings to access to information, online libraries, scientific research, and other studies.
There is also a wide range of educational products that can aid the learning process.
The critical thinking skills that are developed are going to be used here to decide if that is the information they are looking for and learn more about if the research or study could be biased.
Books will still be a key part of your children’s learning journey, and no doubt provides a huge range of information – but the internet can provide an extra resource to perform even more in-depth studying and gaining knowledge.
It is unfortunate that access to technology gives a divide within the education of children. Adults with a higher level of technological literacy have a better chance of finding gainful employment.
The higher-paying jobs also require some level of technological skill. Currently, and for the foreseeable future, the demand for technology skill-based jobs is high. The need for technology in non-technical fields is also increasing.
Early exposure to technology within parent-guided safe limits can put your child in good stead for a future that is heavily reliant on technology to function.