Introducing Children to Computers and Software: Benefits and Concerns


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Discusses the age at which children should be introduced to technology, as well as the benefits and concerns associated with such exposure.

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Introducing Children to Computers and Software: Benefits and Concerns

  1. 1. Bridgette Bailey, Rachel Carmichael, Anne Wolter TCH 505 – Han Liu
  2. 2.  Technology use in the classroom is increasing and its importance is noted in new standards  See National Technology Standards and NETP 2010  Technology use at home is also increasing  Research Question:  At what age should children be exposed to computers and software, and what are the benefits and concerns?
  3. 3.  AAP Guidelines state that parents should “avoid television-viewing [and computer use] entirely for children who are younger than 2 years and…encourage more interactive activities that will promote proper brain development, such as talking, playing, singing, and reading together” (Vandewater, 2007) 
  4. 4.  Ageat which children should be exposed to technology varies depending on the study; however, most researchers agree that:  Children under age 2 or 3 should not be exposed because computers do not match the learning style of this age group – they are learning to crawl, walk, and master other non-technological skills  Once children are in preschool it is acceptable to begin introducing technology, under teacher/parent supervision
  5. 5.  Some concerns of exposing children to computers at a young age:  Increase in obesity rate among children (spend too much time in front of a screen rather than outdoors playing)  Interference with brain development, health, and social and emotional growth  Children become more screen-focused, rather than people-focused (issues with social development and interactions)
  6. 6.  Benefits of exposing children to computers in preschool:  Build memory skills  Become more self-directed learners  Learn problem solving skills  Increased self-esteem  Working with others  Improved motor skills  Added benefits for children with special needs
  7. 7.  As a group, we agree that children under 3 should not be fully engaged with computers because of possible interference with important developmental stages at that age  We also believe that children should be introduced rather early in order to keep up with the digital age in which we live  Technology is an important part of life, and an invaluable educational tool, as long as it is used in moderation, especially with young children
  8. 8.  Children should not be introduced to computers and software until age three  When introduced, it should be under supervision by teacher or parent, and used in moderation as a teaching tool  Introduce them to software that encourages them to make, design, and create things  Children should be introduced to computers using only developmentally appropriate software
  9. 9.  Clements, D. (2004). Young Children and Technology. Retrieved from ERIC database.  Haugland, S., & ERIC Clearinghouse on Elementary and Early Childhood Education, C. (2000). Computers and Young Children. ERIC Digest. Retrieved from ERIC database.  Hinchliff, G. (2008). Toddling Toward Technology: Computer Use by Very Young Children. Children & Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children, 6(3), 47-49. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.  Lee, Y. (2009). Pre-K Children’s Interaction with Educational Software Programs: An Observation of Capabilities and Levels of Engagement. Journal of educational multimedia and hypermedia 18(3), 289-309. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.  Rideout, V., Vandewater, E., Wartella, E., & Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, M. (2003). Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers. Retrieved from ERIC database.  Vandewater, E. A., et al. (2007). Digital childhood: Electronic Media & Technology Use Among Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers. Pediatrics, 119(5), 1006-1015. Retrieved from on June 29, 2010.