The Role of Technology in Early Childhood

The Role of Technology in Early Childhood

Nazan Kaytez (Çankırı Karatekin Üniversitesi Sağlık Bilimleri Fakültesi, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3383-3.ch012

Abstract

Today, children are acquainted with technological devices such as tablets, smartphones, and computers at an early age; they often use these devices both at home and school for educational and entertainment purposes. The age at which children should start to use technological devices has been discussed for a long time. Both parents and teachers should assume great responsibilities in this regard. Teachers need to consider curricula and decide on the use of technological devices within the framework of the objectives and achievements they determine. In addition, they should use technological devices together with traditional materials in educational activities. They should also guide parents and children about using technological devices effectively.
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Introduction

In our age, computer and communication technologies are rapidly developing and becoming widespread. This age is called the “age of technology” due to these rapid developments in the field of science and technology (Clements & Sarama, 2003; Kol, 2018). The widespread use of technology in the lives of individuals and societies has revealed the necessity of having the ability to know and use technological devices. This is only possible if people make acquainted with technological devices at an early age (Çetin, 2013).

Today, children make acquainted with technological devices such as tablets, smartphones, and computers at an early age; they often use these devices both at home and school for educational and entertainment purposes. The age at which children should start to use technological devices has been discussed for a long time. It is seen that with the rapidly developing technology, individuals start to use technology in early childhood (Aral & Doğan-Keskin, 2018; Ashiabi, 2007). Blackwell et. al. (2013)states that 52% of children use smartphones, tablets, or similar devices until the age of eight.

Early childhood is the period in which the development is the fastest, and children are open to learning at the highest level. Therefore, the use of technology in early childhood should support all development areas. Technological devices which are used correctly and effectively in early childhood support creative and critical thinking skills of children and enable them to interact with each other and conduct collaborative studies (Arnas, 2005; Haugland, 2000). Thanks to this collaboration, the social development of children is also positively affected. Similarly, it has been determined that the children who make acquainted with technology in early childhood have improved their problem-solving skills (Genver, 2012; Bencik- Kangal & Özkızıklı, 2015).

In addition to its benefits, it is also possible to mention about the negative aspects of technology use in early childhood. Excessive use of technological devices in this period causes children to spend less time on physical activities, which may, in turn, lead to some health problems. In addition, it can cause them to have communication problems (Kumar & Kumar, 2003). For this reason, technological devices such as computers, tablets, and smartphones should be used under the supervision of parents in early childhood. Both parents and teachers should assume great responsibilities in this regard. Teachers need to consider curricula and decide on the use of technological devices within the framework of the objectives and achievements they determine. In addition, they should use technological devices together with traditional materials in educational activities. They should also guide parents and children about using technological devices effectively (Baykal, Oranç, Göksun & Küntay, 2017; Dale-Mcmanis & Gunnewig, 2012).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Education: It is the process of creating a conscious and desired behavior change in an individual through experiences.

Early Childhood: It is defined as the period from birth to eight years old when children’s development is at its peak, and children are most open to learning.

Technology Integration: It is defined as enabling children to use the technology in a meaningful, productive, and supportive way in the activities in preschool classes during the day.

Technology Education: The studying to learn about the how to use skills and information regarding technology.

Technology: It includes efforts to identify people’s needs and to use existing knowledge, materials, and resources to meet those needs.

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