Technology for Children: How much is too much? Part 2

5 Myths About Young Children and Screen Media Infographic
Infographic provided by Zero to Three

Important information for caretakers, parents and teachers regarding the use of digital media for children.

  • Pay extra attention to the way material is presented when selecting media for young children-overuse of cuts between scenes, or jumps in time or to different location, may impair children’s ability to comprehend content.
  • Look for formal features that are used in ways to support comprehension-for examples, zooms and pans help guide children’s
  • Be careful of media where sound effects, visual touches, or other formal features are attractive to children, but pull their attention away from the primary content and focus of the media-young children are particularly drawn to loud sounds and flashy movements
  • Consider the content as well as the way in which the content is presented when using touch-screen devices or e-books in the classroom.
  • Select media that features characters of different genders, ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, living situations, clothing styles, and other salient characteristics to help children identify with and relate to media content.
  • Provide children with platforms, characters, and game play structures that they are familiar with to decrease the cognitive load placed on children, and make it easier to learn new things.
  • Look for content where children’s responses to a character prompts are related to the learning goals, in addition to encouraging participation. Children may be engaged by television shows where characters address viewers directly, and pause for responses, giving the sense that there is a real social interaction occurring.
  • Use Technology and digital media that encourage adult-child interaction and language-rich exchanges to facilitate learning of new concepts. Young children, and especially children birth to 2, learn best with human partners.
  • Provide important scaffolding experiences with all media just like you do with traditional media like books.
  • Consider the use of e-books, video, digital slide shows, “wonder of the day” online entries and more along with printed books to stimulate language development and conversation in the classroom.
  • Be aware that popular apps for teaching reading may focus primarily on decoding skills (such as letter identification and phonics); research on literacy shows that learning to read involves a focus on vocabulary development, comprehension, and oral language skills in addition to decoding skills.
  • Remember that the technology world is changing every day, but that the needs of students, who may be advances digital navigators and still emerging readers, are not.
  • Rely on your craft knowledge and research on effective literacy instruction to separate the fashion of the day from promising innovations of the of the sort.
  • Integrate new tools with proven approaches that already to work to become a strong early literacy educator.
  • Look for resources that proved suggestions and tips on how to use digital media with young children.
  • Use technology to facilitate co-play or co-reading for adults and children dealing with time zone differences, busy schedules, or other barriers to interaction.
  • Help direct children in advance about what they should be paying attention to while engaging with media and what they can expect to learn.

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