Community information: Technology can help young kids learn

For families of babies, toddlers and preschoolers, saying no screen time is easier said than done. Technology isn’t going away and neither is the desire to make sure that kids are prepared for a world filled with computers at every turn.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no exposure to screens for children under 2 years old. But as the child gets older, families can use technology and interactive media to support learning and, ultimately, relationships.

By managing screen time and choosing developmentally appropriate technology, adults can actually extend children’s learning, according to the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College.

It’s important to note that not all technology is equal when it comes to use with young children. Early childhood organizations make distinctions between passive, non-interactive technology such as certain television programs and DVDs versus age-appropriate websites, phone apps and television programs that allow for the child to be active, create, think critically and problem solve.

An FTF video designed to help parents understand why babies learn language best from real people, not TV or videos, can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=15&v=KXoDdBZggwY.

About First Things First — First Things First is a voter-created, statewide organization that funds early education and health programs to help kids be successful once they enter kindergarten. More inormation is available at FirstThingsFirst.org.

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