Child Care

Children and Technology

“When it comes to technology in early childhood, the pendulum often swings between a belief that very young children should experience no screen time to a belief that as early as possible children should be exposed to technology. As early educators and parents it is our role to help support children’s overall development and well-being;  but figuring out what is truly best for our youngest charges can be a daunting task. 


Fortunately, one of my favorite early childhood resources – Zero to Three –released a research report Screen Sense:  Setting the Record Straight—Research-based Guidelines for Screen Use for Children Under 3 Years Old. The work is a collaborative effort between researchers in BOTH media and early childhood, providing a balance of both perspectives.  Research is clear that young children learn best through close relationships with adults and hands-on experiences, but technology is here to stay so it is important to find meaningful ways to incorporate it into the contexts that young children best develop and thrive.  It is possible to find a balance between all and nothing, and the balance lies with meaningful engagement with technology that enhances hands-on learning and interactions with others.  The full Screen Sense report is available at Zero to Three, as well as user-friendly documents that summarize key points:  Screen Sense:  Setting the Record StraightUsing Screen Media with Young Children; and 5 Myths about Young Children and Screen Time.”


Information provided by: Iowa State University Extension and Outreach

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