The modern society is without a doubt overwhelmed with the use of technology especially among teenagers. Technology is advancing every other day and it has proved to be a staple in our lives today and times to come. Notably, every new advancement has its benefits and challenges. In that, the effect that technology has on children has triggered some praises and concerns. Technology and young children learning can influence the opportunity for carrying social interactions. These advancements can offer different positive benefits for learning as well as influencing the aspect of child growth and quality of life (Goessl N.P). In that, technology is one of the prime driving force for the future since it is changing and designing our future at a very high level accompanied with its profound repercussion which is evident when it is used in learning activities. However, these tremendous benefits come along with some concerns about the technology. In as much as digital advancements have enhanced children's learning activities and multitasking, it has a long-term effect on the ability of the children to process information without the help of technology. Therefore, this work will seek to identify some of the long-term effects of children using technology in learning and entertainment activities so that we can create awareness and caution with an objective of helping children benefit from the usage of the new technology.
A majority of children today experience and apply technology constantly both in school and at home. For example, this is through the use internet, television, DVDs, cell phones amongst other devices that play a formative role in the children development (Hofferth 297). Notably, the ability to reflect, think and arrive at a conclusion is largely influenced by our knowledge, insights, and experience. Thus, this is what makes us human and it has helped us to communicate, develop, improve and become civilized. In other words, thinking enables one to learn about who children are, what they do, ranging from observation remembering, learning, judging, acting, and making decisions, amongst other aspects (Richtel N.P). Subsequently, it goes without saying that the modern technology especially the internet has a way of influencing the way in which children think in a manner that is advantageous and detrimental. The indefinite reality is that concept that the modern technology from its innovation stage and its developments which is at a rapid pace, there minimal measures taken to determine how it influences our children's ability to reason in the long-term.
Educational applications along with television provide ideal platforms for children to polish their growing brains and sharpen their communication skills. Essentially, these devices play an essential role in giving time for harried parents to have broken. Notably, screen time is an inescapable reality of the current childhood whereby children ranging from different ages are spending most of their time in front of digital devices such as televisions, iPads, and smartphones (Roberts & Ulla 23). However, this trend of children getting used to technology gadgets has its long-term effects on children since difficult studies tend to enhance delayed cognitive growth in children with the prolonged use of electronic media. For instance, the US Ministry of Health and Human Services points out that American kids spend roughly an estimate of seven full hours every day using the digital gadgets either for learning or entertainment purposes. Other figures point out that children as young as two are mostly found playing iPad games as well as having playroom toys which all have touchscreens.
In other perspectives, the use of technology in learning is in some cases considered to be shortcuts means. For example, you can not equate a mother reading a narrative to the kid and a smartphone that is telling a story which is characterized by spoon-feeds pictures and words meant for a young reader. In as much as the child will enjoy reading or listening form the screen as opposed to listening to the voice of the mother, the young learner will without miss some of the significant elements that are needed in learning. Instead of setting out time to understand the mother's tone and the words used, processing the complete pictures as well as utilizing the mental effort of following a storyline, young learners who learn about stories from their digital devices will end experiencing the long-term effect of being lazy. This is attributed to the understanding that the device does almost everything for them such as thinking and as a consequence, their personal reasoning muscles continues to be weak.
It is also significant to understand that, between childbirth and age four, for instance, the human brain tends to grow quickly and it is also reported to be sensitive of influenced by the environment around us. Under the contexts of medical circles, this is commonly known as the critical period since the transformations that take place in the brain during the first developing stage becomes the permanent bases or foundation through which all advanced brain functions are built on. Subsequently, for the purpose of the brain's neural networks to mature in a healthy condition, during the critical stage, a kid is supposed to have a particular stimulus which can only be accessed from the outside environment (Stevenson 339). Nonetheless, these are rules that have advanced over a prolonged time throughout the human evolution although as noted in this work, these vital stimuli are not derived from the current electronic gadgets that are used by children. Therefore, it goes without saying that, when a young kid opts to utilize most of his or her time in front of a screen as opposed to acquiring the much-needed stimuli from the real world out there, the development of that child will, in the long run, become stunted.
However, it is also important to recognize that, for every child, there may be the range of benefits in the aspect of being able of handling the universe of the tablet as a preparation for handling their broader environment through their motor skills (Plowman et al, 34). For instance, when a baby is too young to collect an object, he or she is provided with Velcro mittens with the aim of making that object stick to them. Thus the aspect of being in a position to manipulate their surroundings provided these very young kids with a kick start to learn. This is very evident from the usage of the tablet which functions in the same way. In consequence, this notion holds that irrespective of the dangers linked with overexposure to digital gadgets to the young brains, there are numerous benefits associated with the use of technology in learning.
Some critics might object that there are negative long-term effects for children who use technology to learn relating to their emotional, cognitive, and social factors. But that technology allows children to be more creative and apply different ways of thinking to solve challenges that they might face. For example," Many interactive games encourage strategic and critical thinking, which helps kids grow intellectually. This kind of thinking can lead to innovative ideas and stretch their minds." As stated in the article, "The Positive Effects of Technology on Kids Children" by Leigh Goessl. However, others would argue that this isn't accurate. On the other hand, there are numerous studies that state that technologies negative effects outweigh the positive ones. (Goessl N.P)For example, "Nearly 90 percent said that digital technologies were creating "an easily distracted generation with short attention spans," by Matt Richtel in "Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say." If technology is supposed to be a good thing for children learning, then why do so many researchers argue technology hurts more than it helps?
To sum up, technological advancement is not a bad thing for learning and entertainment purposes. However, children should differentiate the boundaries between the real and virtual world and the real one. The long-term impacts of technology on children are complicated since they entail both benefits and risks that are addressed in this work. Regardless of whether technology helps or hurts in the growth of young children's brain, the aspect of thinking has largely influenced the type of technology that is applied and how and for how long that specific technology is applied. However, as it has depicted in this work, it is crucial to control the children's interactions with technology during their earlier lives since it will form the foundation for the manner in which they will develop. Therefore, the use of technology should be moderated so that the children can develop the ability to focus effectively which is also essential for their growth to become successful and happy persons in life.
Goessl, Leigh. "The Positive Effects of Technology on Kids - by Leigh Goessl - Helium."Helium - Where Knowledge Rules. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Apr. 2018.
Plowman L., Stevenson O., Stephen C., McPake J. "Preschool children's learning with technology at home," Compute. Educ., 2012, vol. 59, pp. 30-37.
Richtel, Matt. "Technology Changing How Students Learn, Teachers Say." The New York Times.The New York Times, 31 Nov. 2012. Web. 24 Feb. 2016'.
Roberts, Donald F, and Ulla G. Foehr. Kids and Media in America. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004, pp. 22-44.
Rogers, Yvonne, and Sara Price. "How Mobile Technologies Are Changing the Way Children Learn." Mobile Technology for Children, 2009, pp. 1-22., doi:10.1016/b978-0-12-374900-0.00001-6.
Stevenson, O. "From Public Policy to Family Practices: Researching the Everyday Realities of Families Technology Use at Home." Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, vol. 27, no. 4, Dec. 2011, pp. 336-346., doi:10.1111/j.1365-2729.2011.00430.x.
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