The reading, “Explosive Growth of Mobile Media Raises Questions for Young Children” by Susan Gunnewig, a blog that presents information about a report called “Learning: Is there an app for that?” which explains the use of mobile media with young children. Parents are incorporating a “Pass-back effect” which is when they pass the mobile device such as smart phones or iPhones for the children to use for entertainment. 90 children that were observed that played games for two weeks have had improvements with letter-identification, vocabulary comprehension and rhyming. Other children that were observed in the study were able to master complications on the device even after having frustration. Could it be that since we are in the digital age and that children have been brought up with the use of technology that their learning increases when they are experimenting with devices? It could be more entertaining than reading a book or engaging in play with others. This is something that they are able to find a sense of pride in being able to operate the device which has them follow instructions and helps to increase their knowledge, reading and comprehension.
Working in the field of Early Childhood Education and with technology on the rise, it could be beneficial for children’s learning to incorporate devices within the curriculum. For instances during work time the children can engage together with tools like a laptop, iPad, or Leap Frog products instead of mobile devices. Not only would this increase the children learning, cognitively, but it could help to promote cooperation and teamwork. Children would want to work with others since it is a shared interest. The children will build on each other’s learning and add that knowledge to their existing knowledge. For some children, they will begin to develop hand-eye cordination or build on existing abilities, for they will be needed to move the cursor around on the computer and maybe some click and drag with their fingers on the iPad. The leapfrog has a pen like tool that the children learn to grasp it which is also incorporated in a daily routine that is associated with grasping materials to write with. The only downfall that I would see with this is that too much time spent on the devices. Children may become focused on the devices and not want to participate in the real world activities and build themselves in a virtual world. Another issue is for those that may not have access to such technologies within the home enviornment and may feel left out. However, I have recently come across an article about children and nutrition and it states that, “educational institutions have what no other setting, with the exception of home enviornment, have, that is continuous contact with children for the first two decades of their lives.” (Shor, R, et al. 2009) This applies to children in many ways, as for technology it is essential to look at it in the ways. Yes, children do spend amples amounts of time at educational enviornments and that is why their should be access to such technologies, to give them the experience they need for the digital age that may not be experienced within the home enviornment. Therefore, within the curriculum there could be designated times to incorporate technological devices.
I believe that children learn through play and their daily interactions. They learn from what they experience within their community and within the environment. It could be beneficial for the children to have devices within the learning environment but to a certain extent. As discussed in class, we are in the digital age and I would need to adapt to that within the field, then the devices would be useful to teach and build on the children’s knowledge. However, I do feel that the ways from the past would still need to be incorporated in order to gain maximum learning. Having the devices within their environment may enhance their learning but as stated before to a certain extent. It would help with the learning process because of the children’s own interest. Cooperation skills need to be incorporated not only with the devices but without as well. Children should still be engaged with play and stories in order to enhance their reading for when it comes to such devices. Everyone builds on each other’s knowledge, so why not have children gain their knowledge that can be taken with them as they continue their learning journey. After all, one needs to learn to walk before they learn to run.
By: Cristina Basile