Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Technology in the Schools

Are we introducing our children to technology
                      early in age?

This is a question we must ask ourselves as parents, caregivers, eductors, and guardians.While reading the book "Failure to Connect: How Computers Affect Our Children's Minds, and What We Can Do About It?" by Jane M. Healy, Ph.D, I have learned the importance of why we should introduce our children to technology at a certain age. Healy stated "During the early years, the brain has a staggering number of developmental tasks to accomplish, and environments influence its formation."

Which means from ages birth to five is where their foundaton of learning development begins. During these years is where our children will master these developmental task:
Learning in a social context,
Learning to use all the senses,
Learning to be a powerful learner, learning to pay attention,
Learning visual imagery and memory,
Learning to think logically, and
Learning new symbol systems.

Children will begin to learn the importance of play through physical development with their body and mind, playing with their peers, and they will begin their language development as well. From birth to five, our children are "Concrete Learners" which means they learn from things in the real world and from their families. Overall if a child is introduced to technology too early, it can affect their learning development, so it's very important to keep that in mind while deciding what is best for your child.

For educators who are having a hard time deciding when to integrate technology within there lessons, read this article by Murphy, L., DeQasquale, R., McNamara, E. (2003). In this article the authors share their experience from integrating technology into their lessons.


  1. Based on the researchers I have read and also based on my own experience, I think Computers really affect children in their social development. My first Nephew spent a lot of time in front of the computer (Since he was 1 year old). Now he has a lot of problems in order to socialize with people (even with us!). My last nephew (He will be 3 years old next month) prefers to play soccer, runs, hop and jumps, plays hide-and-seek, instead of being in front of the computer. The only things he demands from the computer are songs to dance!

  2. This is also something I struggle with. I do think we are using technology too young. Sometimes, I feel that teachers are using it as a crutch to replace things--showing a YouTube video is easy. When reading Healy's book I not only considered using technology too young, but also using it too much. Especially as a educational technology minor we are told TECHNOLOGY ALL THE TIME, sometimes it doesn't fit. I've learned that it is okay--this will be my classroom, and sometimes children need to learn the old fashion way.

  3. I think we should not put children on computers in their early age. Since all parts of the brain are active during this period and children have not yet develop any experience to the outside world, the initial stimulation will give them most significant impact on building their own cognitive system. Nobody is clear about the specific influence of computer use in this phase. Even scientists cannot ethically do this type of research on humans, wise parents would never bend on the future of their children to take the risk.

  4. I agree with everyone! I think that those first years of brain development are crucial to growth. Sometimes concepts on the computer can be too abstract for kids to understand and they may become confused. Even at my age I need technology breaks during the day or I feel like my eyes will fall out!

  5. I think it depends on the kind of technology we are talking about. Someone had a post on interactive books on an iPad. Everyone thought that kind of technology was so neat, but here we say that children shouldn't use technology? Now, I agree that children shouldn't be surrounded by technology 24/7. Everyone needs a break to be free once in a while to be social and learn by interaction with other people. I certainly don't want 5 year olds running around emailing from their BlackBerry, but I do think that some technology that is geared towards young children is beneficial.