I’m regularly asked for my thoughts on technology and our youngest learners – the best apps, the best devices, and how much time should children spend on their iPads.
And yes, there’s a lot to talk about as parents navigate concerns about new and unfamiliar tools.
But to ensure conversations go beyond debates about ‘screen time’, it is important to affirm that any approach to technology integration in early years education should focus on ‘how’ we engage children in meaningful learning experiences, and the ways in which technology can support that vision.
So, while there’s a lot of information collected at ipadartroom.com, here are my three top tips for parents. They’re designed to be simple, and provide a starting point for discussion on some key ideas.
1. Using technology can be a wonderfully collaborative experience, so seek out opportunities to play and learn together. Sit beside a child, and share an experience. The learning will go way beyond the screen.
2. Ask children to teach you what they know rather than accepting a ‘digital divide’ between you.
3. Support children in choosing apps that allow them to ‘make and create’. Think about exploring animations, drawings and songs, and look for those apps that provide a unique creative experience each time they are used.