Technology in childhood is no bad thing

This topic is hot off the press of an earlier argument with my hubby on children and technology. Earlier today while having my coil fitted, the Doctor mentioned that she had bought a small laptop for her 8 year old daughter. “That’s too young” uttered my husband as he was scanning through bike websites n his tablet, “they should be at least 11.” Why? He had no valid justification for this viewpoint other than it was the age when he first started using computers. Just because our generation didn’t have tech through our primary years means that our children’s generation must also have their introduction to tech delayed. Mm interesting theory.

Why do so many people view technology as some kind of enemy that will rob our children of all innocence? The fact is a lot of homework is now online, My daughter receives weekly tasks for online homework and even her music practice can be done online. The software makes learning fun by using mini games and  rewards as she progresses through the stages. In the music homework, she not only hears backing music to make  her practice more enjoyable, she also has her learning interspersed with the occasional music video of a chamber concert in action so that she can see what could be potentially achieved with the instrument she is learning.

I agree that too much time spent in front of a screen is not healthy, just like not taking enough exercise is not healthy. But it is all relative, a little bit of tech each day does no harm. In many ways it can enrich our children’s lives and expand their horizons. Social media is a good thing too providing it is used just like any other communications channel – limited to friends not strangers and not for too long (you wouldn’t be on the phone to your friend for 2 hours so no need to be Facebooking for this long either). I despair when I hear parents say, “My daughter received a Kindle for Christmas last year but I don’t let her read books on it, I insist she reads a ‘proper’ book instead’. I don’t understand this mentality, Kindles are different to screens so they don’t affect your eyes in the same way computers do therefore they are no different in appearance to reading a page in a book. They are less bulky to carry around, easier to hold and have a huge storage capacity for books – plus they save trees. Tech is there to make it easier to gain and access information. Just like domestic appliances were invented to speed up household chores and cars were invented to cut down journey times. We need to stop viewing it as an enemy and a tool only to be used in adult-hood and start accepting that children will still climb trees, run around outside and read books because tech doesn’t replace these activities, it just adds another dimension to their lives.

I am blogging every day for Unicef – please donate to the charity here.

Thanks for reading.

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