As parents across the city prepare for the new year and all the learning opportunities and challenges it will give rise to, it is imperative to pause and reflect on the world that young children are being raised in. From automation, hyper connectivity and constant exposure to technology, children today are growing up in an ever-changing environment that they will need to adapt to as they grow.
Children, less than 15 years ago were exposed to comparatively limited amounts of technology, than their modern counterparts. There has been a visible increase in dependence on technology, both amidst parents and children. From sourcing daily items, food and clothes, to organising appointments, looking up information and setting and following budgets, society now thrives on the use of technology, embedded within every element of daily life.
This doesn’t mean to say that this brings about a negative impact on development. Monica Valrani, CEO of Ladybird Nursery shares that, “Technology, when presented in a mindful manner can have a positive impact on a child’s life. In the form of educational, creative applications, technology can prove to be a stimulant to the development of young children”. She further elaborates by saying, “Benefits include a better level of hand-eye coordination, especially through the use of engaging applications. Heightened problem solving skills are also seen through the use of technology, as children are presented with information, games, text and videos, on a daily basis”.
Indeed, learning can be made more fun, when it is supported by the use of technology. As in the case of all good things, moderation is key, as traditional time proven methods of learning can be supported by the incorporation of relevant applications, channels and websites. Technology can also be introduced in a healthy manner to toddlers, in the form of digital displays, to commemorate achievements such as digital progress tracking and displays of art. Best of all, when combined with hobbies such as reading, children can be introduced at a young age to various new cultures and environments they may have otherwise not encountered.
This being said, there are some pitfalls to avoid. Valrani finds, “When little ones are given too much screen time, they can veer towards being reluctant to engage in outdoor play. There needs to be a healthy balance between the two, as children are exposed to numerous learning and creativity stimulants when outdoors.” She adds, “Eye strain is another issue to be tackled, which can be kept under check if parents regulate the amount of screen time children receive a day”.
Though the use of technology provides an avenue to limitless education and entertainment possibilities, parents and children must bear in mind that this must be coupled with other methods of the same, to maintain a well rounded approach to the development of a child.
Source: Q Communications