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Technology and Children: How Can it Help?

As the twenty-first century takes hold, we’re finding ourselves relying on technology more and more for work, communication and entertainment. While this is good in the work environment, what effect does technology have on children?

Different types and frequent use of technology has affected the way children think and behave. This can range from their attention-span to their daily exercise routine and everything in between. First, let’s discuss the negatives.

Attention. Twenty years ago children spent a lot of time reading and building on their skills of focusing for a long period of time without distractions. The introduction of television has altered this skill, as television requires no focus or imagination, as it is entirely visual and fails to stimulate a child’s thoughts like reading does.

Development. When using a computer keyboard, children have no need to hold a pen or focus intently on what they’re writing. Writing is an important milestone in a child’s development and is commonly affected by excessive computer use. Computers also have a Spellcheck feature (usually) and is encouraging children to become lazier with their writing, as Spellcheck will fix it for them.

Now let’s think about the positives of technology.

Attention. In actuality, video games aren’t incredibly unhealthy for children, as long as it’s in small doses. Video games have been shown to improve attention abilities and increase reaction times which is a good skill in young children.

Development. Internet usage has allowed children to gain skill in knowing where to find information, rather than retain it. This has become a common occurrence as children are relying more on the internet to find and learn things, but not needing to retain information could be useful as it can free the mind to engage in problem solving and critical thinking.

Technology for a child is both a pro and a con. It can be healthy in small doses, but overuse can prove detrimental to the behaviour and development of the young ones. Make sure to insert some exercise and family time into a child’s daily routine and it will prove to be a benefit rather than a drawback.

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