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    Computers%20and%20 Young%20 Children%20for%20 Em590 Computers%20and%20 Young%20 Children%20for%20 Em590 Presentation Transcript

    • Computers and Young Children EM 590 Karen Hamond Michael Wurst
    • At what age should children begin to use the computer?
      • Oh, if only there was an easy answer to this! Every child is different, so parents must do what they think is best for each individual child.
      • This debate between technology enthusiasts and technology detractors has been heavily speculative due to a lack of strong empirical evidence. (gc.cuny.edu)
      • If we must give an answer, we suggest approximately age 3 , based on our reading. Note that when students are introduced to computers around age three, they need to be carefully supervised and the software needs to be adequate for the child. Also, teachers and parents need to keep in mind that the computer does not replace time used for learning activities. (cumtranny.com)
      • The next few slides will give you some of the information we found:
    • At what age should children begin to use the computer?
      • Data based on a parent survey led by Sandra Calvert of CDMC:
        • 21% of children age 2 and younger were using computers (mostly on their parents’ laps)
        • 58% of 3- to 4-year olds were using computers (independently)
        • 77% of 5- to 6-year olds were using computers
      • Studies in the UK have shown that children have begun to use computers at ages as young as eighteen months to two and a half years. (cumtranny.com)
      • By age Four: 45% have used a mouse to point and click, 27% have used a computer on their own at home, this rises to 53% for six year olds. 30% have looked at websites for children at home. (cumtranny.com)
      • Adults need to keep in mind the development of the child before they are introduced a complex machine. If it will add to the experience for the student, then the computer should be allowed in slowly. Computers should not be confused with giving a child a head start. The child must be able to develop based on real life experiences. (cumtranny.com)
    • For young children using computers:
      • S Papert (developed LOGO) “has argued that computers unleash the creative impulse in children and allow children to become aware of how they think and learn.” (gc.cuny.edu)
      • “ In hundreds of school-based experiments, computer applications have improved children’s performance in reading, writing, and basic mathematics. Drill-and-practice software has repeatedly been shown to work.” (gc.cuny.edu)
      • Attewell et al. (2003) found that, controlling for family background, children who use computers at home for under 8 hours a week spend significantly more time reading at home than children without computers. (gc.cuny.edu)
    • Against young children using computers:
      • American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation: Parents should not expose children to electronic screens until they are 2 years old. (1999)
      • Very little evidence that children younger than 2 learn much from even “educational” programs and videos. (Anderson & Pempek, as cited in CDMC)
      • Jane Healy (1998) identifies many potential dangers of children’s computer use, from vision problems to bad posture, but her main worry is that computers will adversely affect childhood learning experiences. For young children, she is concerned that computer use will cut into play and physical activities that are important for emotional and cognitive development. (gc.cuny.edu)
      • Alliance for Childhood (2000) advocated a moratorium on computing for younger children, arguing “that computers are a threat to the normal developmental processes of young children.” (gc.cuny.edu)
    • Against young children using computers (cont.):
      • People have argued that although the computer is full of colors and graphics that can stimulate a child, that a child is able to get more out of their building blocks and other toys. It is suggested that children stick to more traditional toys until they tire of them or when computers will become a necessity for the class. (cumtranny.com)
      • Children should not be introduced to computers too soon. “For children under the age of three, computers do not provide the experiences with three-dimensional objects and learning in the real world that they need. Young children have difficulty fully understanding who controls the computer and who is causing the actions on the screen. For children under three, computer use is not recommended.” (cumtranny.com)
    • Are children harmed by early computer use?
      • It appears not:
      • 72% of parents surveyed said that computer use is helpful to children. (CDMC)
      • However, there is evidence that high-tech classrooms have done little if anything to improve student achievement. (allianceforchildhood.net)
      • In a 1993 study, it was found that most children played games instead of working with educational technology. Of the 20% that used educational technology, it was sporadic and of short duration. (gc.cuny.edu)
      • “ Computers may have a greater effect on the emotions or personality development of young children than on their cognitive development or skills.” (gc.cuny.edu)
    • Are children harmed by extensive computer use?
      • It doesn’t seem harmful in terms of learning. It appears that the real dangers of children using computers too early are health issues and social attitude issues. No research was found that proves any kind of educational development issues.
      • “ High-tech childhood is making children sick – promoting a sedentary life at a time when childhood obesity is at epidemic levels.” (allianceforchildhood.net) This is mainly inferred from studies conducted concerning children and heavy television use. (gc.cuny.edu) Note: An issue of causal direction!
      • Panel Study of Income Dynamics claims that computer activities displace other forms of recreation or learning opportunities among young schoolchildren aged 13 and younger. (gc.cuny.edu)
      • Roberts et al. (1999) found that children who were heavy users of electronic media, including computers, were “less contented.” However, other studies found no difference in sociability. (gc.cuny.edu)
    • Extensive computer use (cont.)
      • Attewell et al. (2003) found that “heavy computer use did not affect time spent reading or watching television.” However, children who were heavy users of home computers did spend much less time on sports and outdoor activities and they had a significantly higher body mass index. (gc.cuny.edu)
      • “ Beneficial effects proposed have included enhanced learning, social interaction and fine motor coordination. Detrimental effects proposed have included addiction, social harm, vision problems and musculoskeletal disorders. In order to optimize the interaction between children and computers we believe child specific guidelines should be developed.” (cyberg.wits.as.za)
    • Is there research to support the effectiveness of using computers in education with young children (before grade 3)? Yes…
      • Over time, children’s attention to interactive media remained high when they controlled the mouse, but user control did not affect retention of content. (CDMC)
      • Boys remembered visually presented content more than girls. (CDMC)
      • Most young children who spend time at home on computer-based activities spend no less time on activities such as reading, sports, or outside play than children without home computers. However, young children who use home computers for over 8 hours a week spend much less time on sports & outdoor activities than non-computer-users. They also have substantially heavier body mass index than children who do not use home computers. (gc.cuny.edu)
    • More research
      • Attewell et al. (2003) and Roberts et al. (1999) found “that children who do have a home computer spend almost no time on this computer accompanied by an adult.” However, Giacquinta (1994) found “that active involvement by an adult is important for children to obtain educational benefits from a home computer.” (gc.cuny.edu)
      • Attewell et al. (2003) found that on average a young child who uses a computer spends roughly 3 hours a week playing games and only a half hour a week in an educational activity.” (gc.cuny.edu)
      • Although only showing a modest effect size, Attewell et al. found that home computer use for less than 8 hours a week resulted in higher scores on 3 tests of cognitive skill and on higher self-esteem. (gc.cuny.edu)
    • Some research found concerning race and children
      • Researchers found that Latino households were the most disadvantaged in computer and Internet access. (CDMC)
      • Latinos and African-Americans were less likely to report having Internet access regardless of income, education, and family structure. (CDMC)
      • Of families with computers, African-American parents were more likely than Caucasian or Latino parents to report that their children had used a computer. (CDMC)
    • What are some guidelines for teachers and software designers to follow?
      • The software must be developmentally appropriate. (netc.org)
      • The activity must benefit the child and not replace other meaningful learning activities. (netc.org)
      • Parents and teachers should ask lots of questions as the children use the computer. (pbs.org)
    • What are some guidelines for teachers and software designers to follow? (cont.)
      • Don’t let screen time substitute for physical activity. (pbs.org)
      • Create/use software and websites that fan children’s creativity. (pbs.org)
      • Create/use games that allow children to play with others rather than compete against them. (pbs.org)
    • What are some guidelines for teachers and software designers to follow? (cont.)
      • Create/use software that encourages decision-making, exploring, and trying new things. (pbs.org)
      • Keep one child or group from dominating program choices. (pbs.org)
      • Put community-based research and action at the heart of the technology curriculum. (allianceforchildhood.net)
    • What are some guidelines for teachers and software designers to follow? (cont.)
      • Have students sit at their computers, or groups, and talk about their upcoming activities or challenges they will be facing. (netc.org)
      • Teachers should encourage students talk about their work with others and with the teacher by asking open ended questions. (netc.org)
      • Teachers are encouraged to display the students work and encourage parents to also take time to explore and talk computers with their children. (netc.org)
    • Important Points: 1. How technology is used makes a difference!
      • “ Used appropriately, technology can be a positive factor in a child’s learning process.” (netc.org)
      • “ The use of computers and other technology must be thoughtfully planned to provide for (a child’s) learning needs.” (netc.org)
      • Parents should stay with their young children and guide them as the children use the computer. They should let the children be in control, however. Most importantly, parents should not let the computer serve as a babysitter.
    • 2. Technology should not be considered as leading the learning, but instead should be considered a supplement to the learning.
      • “ The computer does not cause the learning. The connection the child has with adults and other children, and the connection of the technology to the curriculum, together provide a basis for learning.” (netc.org)
      • “ It is time for a new definition of technology literacy that supports educational and family habits that are healthy both for children and for the survival of the Earth.” (allianceforchildhood.net)
    • 3. The social development of the child is important.
      • Dr. Marilyn Benoit, past president of the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:
      • “ It is within the context of relationships that children learn best. As we shift more towards the impersonal use of high technology as a major tool for teaching young children, we will lose that critical context of interactive relationship that so reinforces early learning.” (allianceforchildhood.net)
    • Michael’s picks for teachers:
      • http://teacher.scholastic.com/scholasticnews/games_quizzes/electiongame/game.asp - This activity would be good for a Social Studies class grades 3-5. I found this activity intriguing because it allows the students to share their thoughts and ideas on what makes a country successful. Also at the end of the activity, the students have the ability to print their answers in the form of a newspaper article. One activity a teacher may use for this is to have all the students complete the assignment and do a weekly election so a student can be the "President" for the week. http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/adventure/index.htm - This web page has a series of activities that are available for kids in grades 1-2. The activities range in the subject areas of Grammar, Math, Sciences, and even Spanish!
    • Websites Cited
      • Computers and Young Children From PBS: http://www.pbs.org/parents/childrenandmedia/computers-preschool.html
      • Alliance for Childhood-Computers and Children: http://www.allianceforchildhood.net/projects/computers/index.htm
      • Children's Digital Media Center: http://cdmc.georgetown.edu/about_press.cfm#research_examines
      • How Technology Can Enhance Early Childhood Learning: http://www.netc.org/earlyconnections/index.html
      • Computers and Young Children: Social Benefit or Social Problems? http://www.gc.cuny.edu/faculty/research_studies/attewell03.pdf
      • http://www.cumtranny.com/st/st.php?id=1424&script=1&url=http://www.heshesurprise.com/trat07_ake/sssecond3.html&p=50
      • http://cyberg.wits.ac.za/cb2005/key1.htm
      • http:// www.netc.org/earlyconnections/preschool/technology.html
    • Thank you!
      • Karen and Michael