In the years since I have become a parent, I have found that the safest path to walk is always the one in the middle. Moderation is the key to everything for there is nothing either good or bad so long as you don’t veer too far off into the extremes. Likewise, with the case of technology and media device usage by children, there is a balance between too much of a good thing and nothing at all.
To completely deny our children access to technology would be akin to the ostrich with its head in the sand for technology is a large part of the world they were born into. Rather than hide from it, we need to equip our children for the world of digital media that they are growing up in; we need to teach them the skills and qualities to manage all the negatives associated with media device usage, such as grit, emotional control and delayed gratification. Hiding our children from digital media devices would only serve to cripple them in future rather than protect them.
Besides, digital media devices are not all bad. We cannot deny the impact technology has had in revolutionizing education – flipped classrooms, connected learning, and programs like Khan Academy have really altered the playing field, making education more accessible than ever and tailoring it to the individual learner. Children have access to numerous educational platforms that provide them early learning opportunities for technical subjects such as coding – the language of the new generation. Through numerous games and programs that have become available, like Minecraft and Tynker, younger children are covering significant ground on subjects that would normally have been reserved for older age groups.
The question is no longer about whether children should or should not use media devices. The real question is how much? We found the following infographic from California Cryobank and Ghergich&Co to be a particularly handy guide on the pros and cons of children’s media device usage and for offering parents advice on setting appropriate limits for children:
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The Pros and Cons of Children’s Media Device Usage – Brought To You By California Cryobank
Related articles on technology and children:
- Technology in education: What is a flipped classroom?
- Khan Academy: Using technology to tailor education to the individual
- The dark side of smart devices
- Parental Guidance Recommended – keeping pace with digital media
- Finding the sweet spot of technology in education
- Connected Learning – the future of education?
- Fact or Fiction: too much screen time bad for children’s eyes?
- Playing video games can make your child smarter