The Pros And Cons Of Incorporating Technology In Early Learning Programs

early learning program

There’s no separating technology from our daily lives, but how much should we incorporate into early learning programs? As the world moves forward, technological literacy is as important as many other life skills. However, the newer generations aren’t born with the aptitude for technology — it’s a learned skill, just like any other. But it is essential that we ask and examine how much technology our little ones are using.

Like anything else, technology can be too much of a good thing, especially in the early years. We’re here to look at the pros and cons of using technology in early learning programs and curriculums. We believe that it can be used beneficially when it’s used wisely: when it’s used for educational purposes.

Early Learning Programs: Understanding Technology In The Classroom

early learning program

Eventually, today’s children are going to be using technology in their everyday lives. In fact, you might even notice that your kids are already starting to use technology at home, whether it’s turning on the TV or playing simple games. We are now faced with a greater hurdle: how can we implement the right amount of technology into early learning programs and the preschool classroom?

A certain level of technological literacy is learned by school-age children. They’re going to take classes in IT, complete papers on a laptop, and eventually foster social connections through online platforms. But what about preschool?

We first need to consider that there’s a great amount of learning done between the start and end of preschool. This makes the integration of technology into an early learning program highly dependent on the age of the class in question. A five-year-old may be ready to play some simple video games with an older sibling, but a two-year-old definitely isn’t.

We look at the pros and cons of technology in early curriculums with the following in mind: the usage of technology needs to be educational, and the technology needs to be adapted for the age group of the class.

Pros Of Technology In Early Learning Programs

early learning program

Technology can be easily scaled for age ratings, languages, curriculums, and classroom situations. But do the benefits outweigh the disadvantages? Here is what to consider when thinking of implementing technology at home or in your child’s school lessons.

Pros of technology in early learning programs include the following:

Technology Doesn’t Directly Equal Screen Time

Many uses of technology in the classroom stop with the teacher. Items like interactive whiteboards, for example, introduce kids to technology just through the observation of the class teacher, all while making the classroom experience more seamless.

Early Technological Competence Can Translate Into Adaptable Skills

In the early learning years, children’s brains are like sponges. They soak up what’s learned in lessons, what they observe around them, and what people say around them. Young children can even learn foundational coding skills through game-like applications! By observing and learning the very basics of interacting with technology, they’re setting a foundational layer for more advanced skills as they start IT classes.

Technology Can Provide Interactive And New Experiences

When used in the right way, technology can showcase early learning material like never seen before. Short videos, audio clips, and interactive games are widely available, entertaining, and educational, and they can cover a wide range of topics.

There Are Opportunities To Make Learning Personalized With Technology

Some educational applications have different difficulty levels and revision of past material. This helps with long-term learning of basic skills.

Cons Of Technology In Early Learning Programs

early learning program

Technology can do many great things, but there are some consequences that parents and educators need to be aware of:

Too Much Screen Time

We should be wary of technology in early learning programs that involves too many screens. Studies have shown that screens are usually a one-way device, and preschoolers learn and grow best by interacting with teachers and other students.

Using Alone Is Not Conducive To Interactive Learning

Computers, iPads, and small devices can be beneficial when the activities taking place on them are team-oriented. Children should be interacting with others to complete the game or activity. Cooperation and communication is essential!

Technology Can Be Hard To Regulate

Screens can be addictive, and its up to teachers and parents to set boundaries for how much screen time is allowed before it starts to become a problem. Unregulated screen time can lead to issues in communication, socialization, and inactivity extending into older childhood. Tech must be used as a minor addition to the classroom: not as a replacement for a hands-on teacher.

The Technology And Interaction Balance

Technology can play the role of a classroom helping hand, or a severe inhibitor to childhood growth. A balance must be found for it to be used effectively, both at home and in the classroom.

At home, parents should interact with their children while the screen is running. There’s nothing wrong with the right children’s shows being on the TV, but ask questions! Engage in call and response with your child, and get them talking to you about the show so it’s not just a one-sided activity.

In the classroom, teachers are in a perfect position to make technology interactive instead of one-sided. Let’s use the example of a class learning about farm animals. Audio and video clips can show farm animals in their natural habitat, with sounds and colors included. However, the teacher shouldn’t be taking a backseat and letting these clips do all the work. The key is using tech as a learning device rather than as an assistant teacher.

Interactive Early Learning Programs At Providence Children’s Academy

We use technology in a lot of ways at Providence Children’s Academy, both in and out of the classroom. We have a state-of-the-art security system, featuring fingerprint access for drop-off and pick-up, along with webcams. We also know how to use technology in the classroom while focusing on two-way interactive learning, keeping the body moving, and focusing on health habit foundations for exercise and good nutrition.

To hear more about how we design our early learning-focused curriculum, contact us at 954-570-6914.

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