Is technology suitable for young children?
Nowadays, it seems that children, instead of being born ‘with bread under their arms,’ are born with a tablet or a smartphone. Young children ask their parents to give them new technologies to play games or learn new concepts.
Whether you want to accept or escape the world of technology, you can help your child find the right balance. In this blog, we will be sharing the pros and cons of technology for children in today’s world.
We are in an era where most preschoolers don’t know how to tie their shoelaces but can use a tablet or the latest electronic gadget. Although we know that it is essential for children to function in our interconnected society, technology mustn’t take over our lives.
Here’s why technology is essential for your child’s education
It is essential to academic success. Many schools (even at the elementary level) rely on technology for lessons, reading, and homework. Students can download textbooks on e-readers, view them on tablets, view homework online, or work on group projects in chatrooms and forums.
Knowing how to use technology is crucial if you want your child to be successful in school. Whether they’re becoming a computer or web program developer or going for something more creative like graphic design or the arts, you can bet new technologies will be part of their daily tasks, no matter what.
It can be seen that the demand is very significant in this new era of the global economy, jobs are expected to increase by 14% over the next 5 years and more specifically on software developer jobs, IT analysts are expected, meanwhile, go from 22 to 32%.
If your child has been exposed to new technologies and has a strong, diverse educational background, they will likely be better candidates for one of these high-paying positions.
Technology for children: The pros and cons of using mobile devices
Let’s go into any restaurant on a Saturday or Sunday at noon. We will likely see a whole family eating quietly and several of its members, especially the little ones, eating their food without taking their eyes off the tablet or mobile, where one of his parents has put content to entertain him.
It is a scene unthinkable years ago and one that causes mixed reactions. On the one hand, some observe with happiness how children ‘do not disturb’ and how they are entertained with perhaps an educational series.
In amazement, others see children in that same place who do not interact with anyone, always stimulated by a screen, who no longer know how to entertain themselves if it is not with pixels.
Both reactions are equally valid and numerous studies, both for and against the use of technologies, are bastions of these opinions. What are the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in childhood?
Pros / Advantages
- Access to adapted and useful content. Children can learn a lot through applications and content available both in specific applications and on the Internet directly and straightforwardly.
For parents, selecting suitable content is an excellent advantage over other entertainment sources such as television, in which we cannot control your grill. There are applications for series, documentaries, movies in which we can make a closed playlist and manage 100% of what the child sees without worrying about him seeing something inappropriate.
- Entertainment is not isolated. Just because a child uses an app or device for entertainment doesn’t mean they have to be alone. You can play with your family, friends, and even with people from all over the world. And this should have control, especially in the latter case. You can socialize and find common interests through these games.
- Improvement of attention, literacy, memory, mental calculation. Many applications are created to stimulate children’s education and some specific learning areas through games and stories.
Cons / Disadvantages
- A child is ultimately isolated. Although it can be avoided, a child in front of a tablet or smartphone with a series is a child who does not speak, who does not interact during that time, keeps his eyes glued to the screen, and does not want to play anything.
- Easy Entertainment vs. Difficult Entertainment. The application offers everything the child needs without him having to work. On the other hand, when the child plays alone, he needs to stimulate his creativity and imagination to have fun. Such a positive ‘effort’ can make the child lazy, who has everything more accessible with an electronic device.
- Dependency. Experts agree that electronic devices can cause addiction and dependence, mostly if they are done without limits.
- Without proper supervision, the child can access prohibited content (violent, intimate, etc.) with ease, with all kinds of problems that this entails.
- Obesity and postural problems. A minor who does not play with other children, who do not play sports, and spends all his leisure time indoors playing with devices is a child with a very high risk of being overweight and having postural problems.
These are just some of the problems and advantages of using technology through mobile devices in children.
A new world at your fingertips that limits reality
There is an explosion of information in the media directed at babies, although parents are the filter to reach them. There are many TV shows, digital books, DVDs, and various platforms for portable gaming.
But despite all this, children under 20 months prefer to use their parents’ devices. They are devices with more resources and engaging.
Experts are concerned about these data since (excess) screen time is related to obesity, attention problems, an inability to make friends in real life, limited imagination, poor academic performance, and even increased aggressiveness and decreased empathy.
Digital technology robs children of the ability to develop creativity, essential for development. However, other experts and parents say that technology makes learning more fun and engages children in exploration and problem-solving.
In one study, researchers from Massachusetts, Texas, Pennsylvania followed children from preschool through adolescence. They found that those who had watched small amounts of educational television had higher achievement points, read more books, and had a higher developmental level taller than teens who had only watched entertainment television at the same age.
Final words: Technology for children
It seems that digital media is an integral part of children’s lives, as much as the air they breathe. Whether this is good or bad for children is not without controversy, but the challenge is to find a way to help children benefit from high-tech tools while playing and learning with it.