As parents, we constantly worry about our children. Are they eating right? Are they active enough? Are they playing with the right toys? Are they developing normally? The advancements in technology, and in particular how readily it is available to children, have added another worry. With older children, we worry about what they are doing online, and who they might be speaking to. But even when children are younger there are concerns. What is the right age to introduce tablets or let them play on our phones? Will it lead to them becoming overweight or anti-social? The truth is, tablets and other smart devices are becoming increasingly important to a child’s development, and here is why.
Computers and tablets give children a different way to explore their creativity, which is tremendously important to their development. Offering children a range of apps and programs to let them draw, paint or make decisions when reading, allows them to explore the world, and their own abilities in a different way. Giving children as many different ways to learn, and to play, as possible, can only be good for their development.
One of the main worries we have when children have tablets is that it will stunt their social development. However, it can have the opposite effect. Encourage younger children to use their device to express themselves. Use video calling software such as Skype to introduce them to a new method of communication. Use it to let them speak to or just see relatives and friends they perhaps don’t get chance to see as often.
Technology is incredibly important to our everyday life. Smartphones and tablets have changed how we do everything, from ordering shopping to communicating with our loved ones. Your children see you use devices all the time. Curiosity is a great thing. Depriving children of a chance to use similar devices, to explore technology in their own way, is halting their natural curiosity. As they grow, they will use these and newer devices even more than we do now, so it should be a natural part of their learning.
Use in Schools
As soon as children start school, part of their learning takes place on an iPad. School libraries are often digitally managed, with content available across different devices, totally changing the way children access information, and the way teachers teach. If you are interested in learning more about this, consider an online MLIS program from Rutgers Online. All elements of a child’s school life will involve technology in some form. So, while you may be able to avoid it at home, it could be argued that you would be putting your child at a disadvantage when they start school.
As with everything, the key is moderation. Don’t buy your child their own tablet until they are perhaps 3 or 4, if at all, and always make sure they have been introduced to toys, books, games and coloring long before. Limit the amount of time they use a screen, and make sure you have control over what content they can access. If you are interested in learning more about how technology and digital libraries have changed teaching, an online MLIS degree could help.