Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Children of Nature or of Technology?

As teachers, parents, and members of the community, we stand divided. Shared opinions from both sides of the divide some from all three groups of people, but the question is, who is right? Who knows best? Who knows if technology should be an integral part of early childhood curriculum to best prepare our children for the iPad, cell phone, computer consumed world that is now our reality?

Across numerous ideals and philosophies of early childhood education, it is believed that the young child learns best through natural materials and sensory experiences. And here is where the view of early childhood philosophy begins to crack. Many people now have the perception that without integrating technology into the classrooms of our pre-schoolers, we are not adequatly preparing them for the world that they live in. This view sees natural experience surrounded currriculum to be an approach that gives our children irrelevant experiences.

But is this true? Does an environment in which children are thriving with their literacy and social skills, not give them the skills that will prepare them to learn the technology later? Perhaps putting technology as a core part of early childhood curriculum will force our children to have a scewed understanding of the natural world. It could make them believe that it is impossible to achieve tasks without technology. Is this the type of dependency that we want our children to struggle with?

Here is a clip from YouTube that will show you how one very young child has already lost her ability to understand that natural world and differentiate from reality and technology. We need to be teaching our children how to problem solve in a vafriety of ways, apart from forcing upon them a technology dependency.


  1. This post really covers so much of what teachers, parents, and members of the community consider in terms of technology and (their) children. There are so many valid points here. However, I do hope we do not stand divided! It may be true, but I think it is important for educators especially to believe we are one. One of the great points you made was mentioning that a child learns best through natural materials and sensory experiences. It is interesting to firmly believe this yet believe that technology is integral now in early childhood, but that is the belief that I and many others hold.
    Also, just a side-note: you mentioned a YouTube clip, but I do not see it available within your post.

  2. I agree that there are many studies that show that children will grow better with the use of natural materials. I really think that it is important however, to make sure that children are very aware of how to use technology, especially in the classroom. We want to make them as prepared for the outside world as possible.

  3. I like how you covered both sides of the debate. Technology is everywhere and our children are picking it up sooner and sooner and what are we as teachers suppose to do. Technology will be a large portion of this generations and future generations lives so how to we find that balance between integrating technology into the classroom and providing children with natural materials and sensory experiences.

  4. I truly agree. For example when I go to the library I use the computer to tell me were a book that I need is. It is quick and efficient. However if the computer fails I the back up plan is to use the Dewey Decimal System. It will be there.