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GOOD EVENING EVERYONE I would like to first introduce myself. My name is Jennifer and I am 37 years old. I have 2 children ages 17 and 13. I go to college and am trying to get my Associates of Arts degree in Education. My semester is about to be over in a few days. I have an assignment in my English class and I would like to see if anyone would like to give their input on my topic. I have been surfing through the forums for a couple days and thought that this online group could be a great help with my essay. My essay is about young children, say around elementary age, and the use of mobile technology. I'm trying to see what the advantages and disadvantages(if any) are involving young children using mobile technology at such an early age. Is elementary age too young for mobile technologies, such as ipads and smartphones? Would you let your young child have access or not have access to some kind of technology, such as ipads and smartphones and if you could maybe explain why you chose access or no access. I will be the first to answer my own question. In my opinion, I feel that elementary children are too young to have access with ipads and smartphones. Yes, the world around us is changing and the technologies are becoming more advanced, but I still think the kids are still too young. When the young kids are using the technologies are they really using it for learning or is is just another toy for playtime? I have read throughout the forums and have seen that some people use the devices to keep the child quiet, but what happened to normal activities for children, such as coloring books and crayons, a reading book, or even a scrap piece of paper and a pen or pencil? My children were raised without technologies like we have today, such as cellphones. Maybe my thoughts on the issue are leading more towards young children not having access to these devices because my children grew up without them.I could be wrong. I could be wrong and if by reading replies about my question, then there could be a chance that I change my mind on the issue of mobile technology and young children. THANKYOU EVERYONE FOR TAKING THE CHANCE TO READ MY POST AND REPLY.   

post #2 of 2

Hi  Great question.  Good luck with the degree.


I don't think we can make decisions about what 'normal' childhood activities are based on our own experiences.  'Normal' is subjective.


I would need a better reason not to give a child technology to play with than that it's 'just a toy' - GREAT!  A toy!  What can they do with it?  Playing IS learning.  Children need to learn from the world around them and the world they live in is so steeped in this technology that I see using technology as a major part of their learning experience.


The activities you chose as 'better' are all sedentary AND all used by previous generations to 'keep children quiet'.  Further back, parents may have been horrified to see parents expecting children to sit with pencils and paper when they could be out running around climbing trees or picking berries etc.  What I mean is, there are so many different aspects to childhood that I don't think we should limit them in this way.


That said, I don't give my children mobile technology because we don't have any.   And I limit screen time (including computer access) to before 9am and after 4pm so they are more active.  And colouring, drawing etc are GREAT for their fine motor skills so a good smattering of that too if they can be persuaded.  (Oddly, neither of mine would entertain either activity until they were unschooled.  No clue why.)


I don't know how old elementary age is, but both my kids were able to use a computer to play a game when they were 2 years old.  I think there was a lot of learning going on - motor skills, attention, cause and effect as well as skills like drag and drop.  But there was more - the games they chose were often things that increased phonic awareness or basic maths etc.  They were only ever given access to the BBC websites for children so I knew they weren't exposed to things I didn't want them to see, like mindless advertising. So I was and am happy with the use of technology for young children, provided it's part of the rounded experiences of day to day childhood.

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