I would be a cynic if it weren't for seeing the value of technology based learning in young children.
When you see a child playing with a computer, mp3 player, DVD player, iPhone or iPad, do you assume parents are just keeping their child occupied. Basically parents are using their electronics as surrogate parents. Yeah, I get it. I would have thought this way if I hadn't experienced first hand just how integral technology can be to learning at a young age.
My child is 4 and he's not much for structured learning. He's just like any other 4 year old in that he'll happily do projects and activities. Like anyone his age, he's a drifter going from one topic to another with perhaps a different view of finishing projects than you and I have. But he's constantly learning.
Regardless, he's a whiz at technology. By the age of 4 he was using a digital camera, camcorder, mp3 player, iPhone and iPad proficiently. It's incredible to watch the speed of adoption as he uses intuitive devices. He can't read but he can navigate difficult menus from trial and error and memory. It's astonishing how he learns and adapts to new digital tools.
I believe these tools should be in every preschool. From cameras to computers, technical devices really do seem to make a difference and are a great educational and developmental tool. An iPad in the classroom will make a difference. Plenty of age appropriate games and apps can be found so we don't just have to use these devices at home.
It's time to embrace technology. I believe it will usher in a new age of collaborative learning and I can't wait to see how things develop.
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