The Benefits of Technology for Preschoolers: How Digital Learning Tools Can Improve Cognitive and Social Development
Technology is omnipresent in all aspects of our adult lives – the same is true for children and preschool. If overused or used in the wrong way, technology can have detrimental effects not only on children but on adults as well. That’s why we should be cautious. We shouldn’t prohibit children from using technology, that’s also not going to bring us anything good. Rather we should teach them how to use it correctly and for the right purpose, as technology can benefit us. The right time to teach kids how to use technology is when they are in preschool. Keep reading to learn more about the benefits of technology for preschoolers and how digital learning tools can improve cognitive and social development.
Technology in early childhood education positively affects children’s cognitive, social and physical development. It also has the power to enhance interactive learning. As with everything, technology has positive and potentially negative effects on children. However, not all activities are appropriate for preschool children – we’ll share some that are. Lastly, parents play a huge role in guiding the use of tech and media.
- Cognitive development
Using technology with preschool children can foster cognitive development in terms of language development, digital literacy and information processing.
When it comes to technology and digital media, they offer interactive opportunities that foster language acquisition and development. Plenty of educational software can help children learn the alphabet, recognise letters and sounds, learn new vocabulary, etc. These are highly interactive, visual and auditory and can keep children’s focus.
Another aspect that tech aids cognitive development is digital literacy. By being exposed to technology so early in their lives, children can adapt quickly and learn how to use tech. This is crucial as the whole world revolves around tech and digital literacy.
Finally, there is the benefit of information processing. Children can learn so many things so effectively through animated or narrated content. This enables them to be more efficient in information processing.
- Social development
Social development is the next type of development children go through when using tech. They learn problem-solving skills, collaborate, and be aware of other cultures.
Technology has many efficient ways of providing children with opportunities to solve problems and learn to be self-efficient. They experience emotions connected to success or failure throughout the process, teaching them how to cope.
Using technology also provides children with numerous opportunities to collaborate, play, and communicate with other children, teachers, and parents. The relationship-building basics are something children will benefit from for years to come.
Moreover, technology and the omnipresence of the internet allow the whole world to be at children’s fingertips. In that way, they can easily learn about other cultures in fun and interesting ways.
- Physical development
Besides cognitive and social development, children also benefit from the physical development aspect, even though that doesn’t make much sense to you. They develop fine motor skills, coordination and reaction time.
Children can develop their fine motor skills When they interact with technology, as in certain early learning centres such as Insight Early Learning. They do that by pressing buttons, dragging, swiping, and moving around objects.
Additionally, they also improve their coordination and reaction time. Children visually tracking and manipulating objects on their screens strengthen their hand-eye coordination. Different educational games foster quicker reaction time.
- Technology enhances interactive learning
If used in the right way and amount, technology can enhance interactive learning children only benefit from. Technology in preschool settings has revolutionised interactive learning for young children. With the integration of age-appropriate devices and software, children are exposed to many educational opportunities. As we already mentioned, interactive touchscreen displays and tablets engage children through games and apps, fostering their cognitive and motor skills. By embracing technology, preschools create immersive learning environments that inspire curiosity and prepare children for a tech-driven future.
- Positive effects of technology on children
Technology enables children to quickly and easily access information and boost their creativity. For example, children learn to communicate with their friends and family through video chats. Also, as parents learn how to control tech use with children, children understand how much tech is too much. The goal for parents is to teach children how to use technology for learning, information gathering, play and fun. You shouldn’t prohibit children from using technology and accompanying devices altogether. Instead, you should teach them how to use them correctly and amount by setting a timer, for example.
- Negative effects of technology on children
As with everything else, technology has potentially negative effects on children. One of the first potential negative effects children are especially susceptible to is technology overuse. Some general recommendation for children aged 2 to 5 is to spend an hour daily engaging with high-quality programming. Regarding children of 6 and up, it is essential to set time limits for tablets and smartphones, as children cannot do that independently. Parents should be especially mindful of the content children watch or interact with. They should approve it. Certain developmental and behavioural problems can arise from overusing uncontrolled tech and media time. These include obesity, cardiovascular diseases, lack of focus, aggressive behaviours, physical inactivity, sleep problems, and other problems related to a sedentary lifestyle.
- Appropriate tech activities for preschoolers
When it comes to the choice of appropriate tech activities for preschoolers, they should be developmentally as well as age appropriate. They should be assessed from multiple angles and aspects for suitability. They should be used to promote active, hands-on learning experiences. Teachers should select them carefully and incorporate them intentionally. Tech can also be used to facilitate parental involvement.
- The role of parents in guiding the use of tech and media
Parents have a quintessential role in guiding the use of tech and media. We should approach the matter mindfully rather than mindlessly. The content on the screen matters – find some quality yet amusing content for your children that sends the right messages. Also, use media with your children as that leads to more learning.
Technology brings us plenty of benefits if we use it correctly – teach your children how to do this, as they will reap the benefits for the rest of their lives.
Read more: How to Improve Logic-Building Skills