01 October, 2019
New and emerging technologies have always been associated with the younger generations. Older people tend to be set in their ways, leaving tech-savvy millennials in the forefront of discovering and embracing new devices as they arrive on the scene. Younger people learn more quickly, and that goes for technology in the same way it goes for everything else.
Active or interactive technology and screen time can actually help to develop and improve your kid’s learning, when used appropriately, and highlighted a number of ways children can benefit from early exposure to modern technology.
1. Technology allows for creativity & freedom of expression
Children have wide imaginations that are too big to be contained. In the past, they only had crayons and coloured markers and now additionally, they have computers, tablets, and so much more to help them turn such thoughts into reality. Now children can create a 3D animation, and then even send that animation to a 3D printer to allow it to take on a physical form!
The skills learned from interacting with technology each have an attached creative form of expression. Coding is a skill, but programming a video game or mobile app is the expression.
2. Technology aids in socialization and relationship building
The chances of children finding other kids to interact and bond with over technology greatly outweigh the odds of them finding other children who does not use or like technology.
Children can share in such interests with other children just like they would over sports or TV shows. And even beyond that, if they want to take interests to the next level and build their own video games or learn to code in a camp or class setting, that’s another opportunity to forge solid relationships, as they’ll be collaborating and learning with like-minded peers.
Early childhood STEM exposure and the resulting relationships will lead through school, and then on to internships and careers.
3. Technology allows for independence and empowerment
The process of freedom of expression goes from idea to conceptualization. First, an idea is created and groundwork is laid and research takes place. And, finally, the idea is brought to reality. With technology, children can carry out that process on their own.
It’s not just about the act of creating and doing, but that feeling of independence and empowerment. It can be incredibly powerful; beyond what words can convey. Even as adults, there are things we often avoid because we haven’t had experience with them, and thus, we are afraid to fail. If children can jump in and do things with technology now, they’ll be in better position to keep pushing and achieving as they grow older.
4. Technology improves problem solving and perseverance
With technology comes freedom of expression, and with such freedom comes the chance for children to independently set out and achieve something, largely on their own. In doing so, they face roadblocks and challenges that must be cleared if they’re to reach their goals, so they learn how to deal with such hurdles. In turn, they’ll be encouraged to come up with their own solutions when problems are faced in technology, or outside of it—in the form of a homework issue or other personal hardship.
5. Technology helps instill an entrepreneurial spirit
Creative expression, relationship building (networking), empowerment, and perseverance are all qualities needed to be an entrepreneur. Technology and being exposed to programming leads to motivation. Technology touches everything which means there are entrepreneurial prospects in everything from reviewing toys on YouTube to playing Roblox.
6. Technology enhances learning
While skills like creativity and independence can easily make one a better learner, this is an example of a more direct application of how technology can enhance the learning experience.
The use of technology opes the learning floodgates. Instead of just reading about how the pyramids were built, kids could step into a virtual reality and experience what it like to be present when the structures were erected. They could stand below and observe the massive stones being dragged into place, leaving them with vivid memories instead of words on pages.
Anything that was once written about and illustrated in books for our eyes to read can now or soon be constructed in alternate reality, for us to see, touch, interact with, and experience on a much deeper level.
Help set up children for a more successful future by encouraging them to learn more about technology and computers. Technology exposure can provide great opportunities for children to grow and develop.