Technology-Infused Teaching or Technology-Abused Teaching:
A Look at the iPad and Computers Educating Our Children
By: Amanda M. Golden
When it comes to technology we have definitely advanced from the first clunky desktop computer we had. Technology has been on the rise in this century and is not slowing down anytime soon. Companies have upgraded computers, purchased tablets for employees and enrolled them into instructional technology courses. The schools have incorporated it into their daily learning style calling it “Bring your own Technology.” Digital learning is taking over our school systems; on one hand this is good because the older children are gaining valuable life skills to take to the real world, but on the other hand it is stinting the ability of our children to develop proper social skills. Especially in our babies, children as young as 19 months have grasped the concept of swiping a touch screen quicker than learning to walk speak or eat on their own. In daycares across the world teachers are teaching them on tablets and other advanced technology; or are they letting them play on the tablets so that they [the teacher] can rest. According to Hatch Early Learning, “For technology to be meaningful in early education, it must provide opportunities for children to gain the essential skills that prepare them for school.” (Hatch Early Learning , 2013) This is a true statement, however to help children gain these skills needed for school one must interact with the child throughout their exploration of the technology. One must help them to not only develop physical skills but social and cognitive skills as well.
Many childcare centers and schools are beginning to update the way they teach our children and use this technology infused learning to do it. But without adequate lessons in these “new” technological devices, as the teacher, it is feared that the original lessons they have learned while attaining their teaching degree will disappear as they become more comfortable using technology. The fear is that technology may one day teach our children not the teachers. Therein lies the issue of if the use of the iPad (and other tablets) in the classroom will allow teachers to let children learn entirely on their own as they surf the web on the other side of the room.
Technology can be one of the best ways to teach young minds or it can be one of the worst but it is still up to us. As parents and community members we need to constantly interact with our children AND their tablets. There is nothing we can do about how technology steadily advances but we can steer it in the right direction with our children. As teachers, by not letting the fact that the children know more about the product than we do, we must remember our roots and incorporate it into the way they are learning now. We must use technology, like the iPad, to enhance the education we received to be able to show them how to succeed in the real world!
Hatch Early Learning Center. (2013). iStartSmart Efficacy. Retrieved 07 31, 2013, from Hatch Early Learning : http://hatchearlylearning.com/research/observational-studies/iss-aio-efficacy/
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