by Julie Lipshutz
This news article discussed researcher’s views on how technology should be used for toddlers. The author interviewed two researchers based on the outcome of a recent study. A study tested the different reactions two- and three-year-olds had after a human demonstrated a game verse a computer. Both the human and computer showed the children how to move and match puzzle pieces on a tablet screen. After concluding that the toddlers replicated this action better by watching the human’s instruction, the author summarizes what the researchers advise for adults to do when children use technology.
Interaction, scaffolding, and transfer learning are main strategies the researchers refer to. Since the computer demo caused confusion,computer and toddler interaction offers little support to learning.However, with an adult present during technology play, more knowledge will be retained. Learning takes place when an adult is by the child’s side as he or she uses technology. By pointing out images,identifying words, and asking questions adults are strengthening toddler’s comprehension. Additionally, by creating discussion, adults become aware of what the child needs further assistance with. The adult can then provide scaffolding techniques to advance the child’s understanding of a topic. It is important for an adult to be present for this. Similar to the human and computer demonstration, social or human scaffolding is more effective than the computer. Lastly, adults should relate what the child views on the touch screen to reality; better referred to as transfer learning. Thus while the toddler develops, he or she can begin to make connections from what they see online to their world experiences. Overall, the researchers stress the importance of adult guidance, but it is understood there will be times when toddlers are alone with technology. In this case, adults should take caution in what their child is playing. Games that provide feedback to answers,repetition, and different levels are useful tools that help maintain an educational experience when the adult is absent.
The article makes it clear that if the parent is available to interact alongside their child, then they should. Therefore, this news will affect the parent and child relationship; it will bring them closer together and build learning. When children play games alone, their thoughts are not heard by another person. Conversely, when the child is attended to,their thoughts are acknowledged, bringing the two family members closer together. During this interaction they create a stronger relationship, while having a personal and friendly discussion about the game. This bonding produces a long lasting learning experience for the child. With an adult repeating questions or connecting what appears on the screen to the real world, the toddler will be better prepared for school. In return, the parent can now recognize their child’s strengths and weaknesses in learning, what they understand, and what needs to be further addressed. Young children can be seen playing alone with at ouch screen whether its during a meal, at the grocery store, or waiting at the doctor’s office. Primarily, this news will affect these family habits. Knowing this information about computer verse human interaction, adults will feel less willing to hand their child a phone without their assistance. Family members will have more caution to the freedom they allow toddlers to have with electronics.
Technology is constantly advancing, which means there is now a variety of applications that can be used in education. Although media advertises the educational benefits of electronic activities, not all games are developmentally appropriate. The articles discussion on types of apps and or games that offer instructive features is informative for early childhood teachers. The idea of Universal Design for Learning (UDL)constantly has teachers wondering what other tools they can use to support their student’s development. Many educators turn to technology for different forms of teaching. The information on what tools in apps are useful for learning will be helpful for educators when searching for resources that support UDL. Using the researcher’s advice, teachers can implement this knowledge when evaluating if a product is useful to share in the classroom.
Today’s guest blogger is Julie Lipshutz