The Benefits of Technology and Children
Technology is a very controversial subject, especially between generations. Many people believe that the use of televisions, computers and smartphones inhibits children's social skills, as well as their learning abilities. Others argue that these types of devices are often used as a babysitting tool. Although, there are various arguments of the disadvantages of technology, there are many more benefits that outweigh them. Technology is an incredible thing; it keeps us connected with family and friends and allows us to find an answer to any question with a click of a button. If used appropriately, technology can be very beneficial for children under five; it enhances brain activity, prepares children for school and improves fine motor skills.
As with most joyful things in life, technology too can become addictive. It's very important that in order for children to get the full benefits of technology, parents continue to monitor the content being seen as well as the time spent. Allowing too much time on computers, tablets, phones or watching television can prevent them from experiencing real life situations. Thus, only allowing one to two hours per week is just the right amount of time to balance education and life experiences. Tablets are not there to replace parents and teachers, but to guide them and teach them in new creative ways.
The use of technology, such as tablets and smartphones, increases brain activity in children, especially those under the age of five where their brain is still developing at a rapid rate. There are several great games and applications for these devices that help enhance brain activity; such as games for counting, math, matching, patterns, etc. The level of difficulty varies from very easy to difficult, depending on the child's age and capability. Kids get particularly excited to play games on these devices because it's such a different concept; it keeps them engaged longer than any other regular game, which allows more time to learn new ideas.
Tablets and smartphones are a fairly new concept, which means there isn't as much research that has been done, compared to television and children. Many people compare the idea of watching television to using a computer or tablet, which are completely different. Although, there are a few shows for children that promote learning, there are several that promote violence instead. Whereas, the tablet has thousands of games or applications that stimulate brain activity in children. There are literally games for everything; from learning how to read, to learning numbers, shapes and colors and even world geography.
The amount of creativity that goes in to children's games is incredible. "For parents looking to teach children how to tell time, Jungle Time was featured in Parenting magazine as one of the 10 best educational apps for kids. The clock speaks in several different languages and has large numbers and hands for easy to read lessons" (DaNeen 7). It can sometimes be difficult teaching a child a new concept, especially when it comes to repetition. These games allow children to learn at their own pace, while playing the same game over again. Not only are there games to teach time, which is important with so many digital clocks, but there are even games that teach different cultures of the world. It's not just about learning about different countries and continents, but actually grasping the different ways of life. Learning is a powerful thing as a child; children's innocence is so incredible because they truly hold on to every word. As with most adults even, children engrave an idea by doing something several times.
Studies have shown that technology, specifically IPad's, can help children with autism learn to communicate. Children with disabilities, like those with autism can get frustrated about not being able to connect effectively. "In a study funded by Autism Speaks, Kaiser found that using speech-generating devices to encourage children ages 5 to 8 to develop speaking skills, resulted in the subjects developing considerably more spoken works compared to other interventions" (Brasher 2). Autistic children learn through imagery, rather than words. Using an IPad allows the child to create a sentence or even a story, using a series of images. Being able to communicate with friends, family and or caregivers releases a lot of daily frustration.
Autistic children are extremely intelligent and want to learn like everyone else does. Technology, such as computers, gives them the opportunity. Computers allow children to stay engaged for longer periods of time, which in turn stimulates brain activity. Computers and tablets are unlike any other learning environment for autistic children because it's collaborative. They are able to visualize bright colors, listen to interactive games and respond to gestures. This type of environment is much more motivating and gives them an encouraging atmosphere.
Technology is very rampant within the newer generations and becoming more available in classrooms. This means that teaching younger children how to use a tablet or smartphone will help prepare them for school. Children's brains are developing fastest before the age of five, so they will pick up on the idea of technology at a much quicker rate. Allowing them one hour per week on a tablet or smartphone will help them learn to navigate the device, without over stimulating them. However, studies have shown that children between the ages of three and five should only spend about 30 minutes in one sitting on some type of technology (television, tablet, or smartphone), so the hour should be broken down into at least two sittings (Hatch 6). It's important to allow enough time for technology, but not give them more than necessary.
There has always been some type of technology in the classroom; whether it is a projector or a television on wheels. It follows the path of invention, so it's inevitable that now there are going to be laptops and tablets in schools. By allowing children adequate time to learn the ins and outs of the device, it will prepare them for the classroom. They won't need to spend their time learning how to use the tablet effectively, which will give them more time to actually learn the material they are supposed to be learning. Chip Donohue makes a great point when he says "A lack of exposure could widen the digital divide - that is, the divide between those with and without access to digital technology - and limit some children's school readiness and early success" (3). It's not fair to say that all children have access to smart phones or tablets in their homes; however, it's important to give them the chance to utilize such, when given the opportunity.
The idea of digital learning is only going to become more existent within the next few years, and rightly so. Parents believe that a tablet is too much money to invest in their child's education, yet spend thousands of dollars over the years on textbooks and writing supplies. Having a tablet or laptop will be a higher upfront cost, but will dramatically decrease the overall expenses throughout school. This is only one of the benefits of having tablets in school. It also reduces the amount of textbooks that need to be manufactured, which lowers the amount of paper waste. Furthermore, it makes it more convenient for students to carry from class to class, or even just from home to class for the little ones.
Not only will technology prepare children for school, but it will help tremendously later in the workforce. Lydia Plowman, a student at The University of Rhode Island, makes a great point that children have an easier time learning how to type than they do writing. Although, it's still very important to have great penmanship and learn to write, most companies rely heavily on typing skills. These days, it's never too early to get them focused on the future, which includes preparing them for their career. Most careers now will not hire someone that does not have extensive computer knowledge and program literacy; the amount of programs and applications that are going to be available in the next several years will be astounding. Obviously a young child is not going to understand the different concepts fully, but it's important to teach them the basics. Most children, even those that are under five know how to use a tablet or smartphone much better than the older generations, such as their grandparents.
Tablets and smartphones are a great way to encourage fine motor skills and teach hand eye coordination. Navigating between applications, games and even photos will teach the child how to focus their eyes on multiple areas of the screen. "Successful engagement requires as much cognitive skill as physical skill. Users must divide their visual attention to 2 portions of the screen, while also coordinating their motor movement "(Vliet 2). Vliet makes a great point about the ability to focus on more than one area at a time. With these games, children are able to look at one area on the screen, while tapping controls on a different area, and then jumping to the other side of the screen all in a matter of seconds. There are even games made specifically to enhance fine motor skills in children.
There are many games on a tablet that require fast movement as well as paying very close attention. Most children under 5 already know how to take a photo on a tablet or smartphone; this involves a lot of hand eye coordination to be able to focus on the picture as well as pressing the button. Although, the majority of technology for the new generations is categorized as a tablet or a smartphone, there are various other types of technology; including desktop computers, televisions, digital cameras, etc. It's a great idea to teach young children to be able to use any of these devices. The regular computer will enhance fine motor skills because it will allow children to find specific letters on the keyboard and press the buttons, as well as click on the mouse to get to a specific area on the screen. Fine motor skills isn't just about picking up small objects and being able to build block towers, it's now about being able to digitalize these skills as well.
It's important to realize that technology should never replace anything in life; whether it is for social reasons, education or even just entertainment. There needs to be a happy balance between all of them and spending too much time utilizing these devices can dramatically affect different areas of life; especially social skills. This is why there are so many opposing viewpoints when it comes to the use of technology in young children. Only utilizing technology for an hour or two a week will allow for this balance, while educating the future of children.
Sociologically speaking, the least industrialized countries have a lag time between culture and technology. In order for a country to thrive, the people need to keep up with new inventions and new ways of doing things. This is especially important in our children because they need to be accustomed to change, as the United States and other more industrialized countries are continually changing.
Technology can be a great tool to keep children busy, by allowing them to watch television while cleaning the house, or even keeping them occupied on the IPad while out to dinner; however, there are several other more important benefits. The benefits include enhancing brain activity, preparing children for school and even the workplace, and encouraging fine motor skills. There are many parents opposed to having young children using tablets and smartphones, but if used appropriately, the advantages surpass any disadvantages. It's inevitable that technology will continue to grow and it's important that our children grow with it.
Brasher, Joan. "IPads Help Late-speaking Children with Autism Develop Language." Vanderbilt Research. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.
Donohue, Chip. "Technology Can Benefit Young Children When Used Appropriately, Says Donohue." Erikson Institute. 18 Dec. 2012. Web. 6 Nov. 2015.
DeNeen, Julie. "IPad Apps For Education: 20 Apps (Games) for Play-based Learning - InformED." InformED. Web. 30 Oct. 2015.
Hatch, Kristina. "Determining the Effects of Technology on Children." Web. 7 Oct. 2015.
Vliet, Nannette. "Temple University: IPads in Therapeutic Recreation." Temple University IPads in Therapeutic Recreation. Web. 31 Oct. 2015.
benefits of technology
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Ever since it developed, there has been controversy over whether or not mechanical inventions benefit our lives. Doug Rennie’s article, “Faxed to the Max”, says “the timesaving devices we created give us more freedom to do what we want have instead imprisoned us in our own technology.” Although this may be true to some people, everyone has the power to resist technological devices. People can chose to use these tools to enhance their lifestyles, like they can chose to use a hammer or a saw for a project; they don’t necessarily need it, but it would save time and energy. It is the ability to mistreat these inventions that makes some people uneasy towards about using technology in their daily lives. Although it can be abused in many ways, technology used properly is a tool that aids in education, health and communication.
Our physical health has benefited greatly from technology. Through inventions like the pacemaker and artificial limbs, a tremendous amount or people have had better physical conditions. This biological technology is not favorable to all. Some say that it is better for nature to do its work and people should not interfere. The spread of new inventions can soon get out of hand. For example, if we have the ability to clone humans, our lifestyles will change. People will abuse this power by being careless about their health. They believe people think technology can save them in the end, so they can exercise less and eat more unhealthy foods. On the other hand, curative inventions have saved lives and allowed people to lead healthier ones. There can be ways to make technology accessible to only certain people, but there is no reason to stop the usage of these medical products if they can help save lives. An example of one of these products is the pacemaker, invented by Canadian electrical engineer, John Hopps. Because the heart stops beating when it cools, he found that mechanical or electric stimulation could make the heart start up again. Since then, many were given healthier lives. Prosthetic limbs have also played a great role in helping the lives of amputees. Artificial limbs with sensors and microchips have recently been designed so that these people can maintain an active lifestyle rather than being confined to wheelchairs.
Technology plays a very important role in the communication of people today. With the touch of a button, the Internet and the cellular telephone can allow us to transmit our message to someone on the other side of the planet.
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Benefits Of Technology Physical Health Own Technology Pacemaker Inventions Stops Save Stimulation
Certain people chose not to use any of these appliances because of the negative consequences. The Internet contains inappropriate sites and some parents don’t want to risk the chance of their child meeting a dangerous stranger in a chat room. People are so used to e-mailing that they don’t know how to send letters anymore. Other antagonists of technological communication believe that the invention of cellular phones is prone to car accidents. Contrariwise, the Internet and telephone has allowed to world to communicate and to easily get in touch with someone. There are parental controls on the Internet and the phone is simply a tool that people can chose not use. In a car accident, it is more of the driver’s responsibility than the cellular phone because the driver chose to use the cellular phone. The Internet is a cheaper and quicker way to communicate. Typing an e-mail and it getting it to the other person takes only a matter of seconds, whereas writing a letter and sending it could take days. Through instant messages and chat rooms on the Internet, a person can converse with another on the other side of the world and save money on their phone bills. Cell phones are convenient devices, especially in emergencies. For instance, if someone was lost in the woods, they can either phone for help or check the map on their cell phone. Cellular phones are also timesaving tools because they can fit in pockets and there is no need to find a payphone or carry coins on the street.
We can easily abuse the technology around us, but we can just as easily find that the consequences are more beneficial when we use it properly. We should consider the negative effects of technology and find ways to limit them, but we cannot let these issues stop us from the possibilities that the devices can offer. Many of the appliances that scientists created have improved our communication with the world, easier and faster learning, and have even extended the life spans of numerous people. It is wrong to say that everyone has been trapped into being time-sick patients of modern devices. We are simply using these tools to our advantage so we can accomplish the numerous tasks in our lives easier. Without any technology at all, we will be taking a step back from mankind.