While it is always wise to question how much screen time children get in a day, scientific study has proven access to tablets strategically loaded with educational games can give your child a dramatic boost into tomorrow’s world.
A recent report in Science Daily outlines the research conducted by MIT, showing that children in economically disadvantaged communities in the United States and in Africa performed significantly better on literacy tests than their counterparts after being given access to tablets loaded with literacy apps.
According to one scientist in the report, “the capacity to read, unlike the capacity to process spoken language, is not hard-coded into our genes. Consequently, early training is essential to establishing the neurological machinery on which the very capacity for literacy depends.”
And of course, in today’s world, the capacity to read is only the first step toward actual literacy and the ability to thrive in our competitive marketplace.
More than simply understanding words, making tablets available to young children (carefully screened to ensure only high-quality educational apps are available) provides children at the peak of their learning abilities with the chance to learn more about using computers and apps to be able to better function and adapt to the changing social structure of our world.
However, in order to reap the benefits of tablets for your young child, it is important to remember the key beneficial elements — education and moderation.
According to the National Association for the Education of Young Children, to be effective, apps used should be developmentally appropriate for the child, allowing the child ample opportunity to problem solve on her own, yet also provide parents and teachers with appropriate tools and instruction to quickly assist children in using the technology appropriately all while also being integrated and connected to other forms of learning taking place in the classroom and at home.
It should not simply be another form of babysitter.
“Adult guidance for children using computers is associated with increases in abstract reasoning, planning behavior, visual-motor coordination, and visual memory.”
To avoid the adverse effects of too much screen time on a child’s brain, there are numerous studies and recommendations, but one of the most consistent is the 2 hour rule. For more information about the dangers and recommendations regarding screen time for children from toddler through teen, read this article from TechAdvisor.