In today’s technologically advanced society, children typically spend around several hours each day using digital devices that can impact their early childhood development. The benefits of technology on early childhood development and learning are evident. However, the overuse of technology can lead to a sedentary lifestyle and causes issues with behavior, development and the learning process. The effects are greatest on younger children. Parents and educators must consider both the positive and negative effects of technology when they are determining which digital resources to use and the time limitations placed on them.
When it is used properly, technology can increase the social and cognitive skills of children. Developmentally appropriate digital resources can create interactive environments where children are engaged in mastering specific skills at their own individual rates. Children are able to be challenged and become more proficient through technology that offers prompts to high levels of engagement.
While technology is an effective tool for supporting early childhood development and learning, it cannot replace hands-on activities like art, sand exploration, reading books, drama and writing. Parental and professional educational judgment is necessary in deciding which technology resources to use and the length of time children can have access to them.
According to Julie Lewis, a registered speech language pathologist with Interior Health, “The research is pretty clear that when children spend too much time looking at electronic screens (TV, tablets, smartphones, gaming devices etc.) it can interfere with their development. Many parents know this and put limits on the amount of time their children spend looking at screens.”
Interior Health outlines the optimal amount of time children should spend each day using technology.
- Children 0 to 2 years of age: None
- Children 3 to 5 years of age: 1 hour per day
- Children 6 to 12 years of age: 2 hours per day
(This data was created by Created by Cris Rowan, CEO Zone’in Programs Inc. and author of Virtual Child in conjunction with Dr. Andrew Doan, neuroscientist and author of Hooked on Games and Dr. Hilarie Cash, Director of reSTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program and author of Video Games and Your Kids, with contributions from the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Canadian Pediatric Society, ©Zone’in Programs Inc. 2014.)
Parents and educators can reduce their use of technology by designating specific non-digital hours and days during the week. When technology is being used, the sessions should follow a pattern of an hour of technology then an hour without technology in order to reduce the negative impact of these digital resources on early childhood development.
For expert advice on the effects of technology on early childhood development or for information on preschool programs in the Allen TX area, contact Kindergarten Prep Child Center at 972-396-0099 today!
Early Childhood Development Allen TX
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802 S. Alma Drive Suite #100
Allen, Texas 75013