It is not unusual, today, to see young children in the United States talking on cell phones and/or listening to music on a portable device. Many children are skilled users of e-mail and other electronic communication and gaming tools even before the primary school years. In fact, a majority of children in the industrially developed world have Internet access, connecting them to a wealth of information in a variety of formats, even in remote areas. A great number of positive consequences result from the use of these “tech tools”: Children across the globe communicate with each other, learn from each other, and even cooperate on community projects. Adaptive and instructional technologies offer children, with varying abilities, innovative opportunities for learning. Children in military families stay in closer touch with their deployed parent.
On the other hand, this rather widespread and affordable availability of new technologies has also created areas of concern. As you think of children’s development during this stage of life—the ways in which they are seeking to better understand themselves, their peers, friendship, and, as always, make meaning from life—consider all of the ways in which their lives are both positively and negatively impacted by interactions with technology tools.
- One positive and one negative impact of a technology tool, and the ways in which it may enhance and/or impede development for school-age children
- One suggestion for how you, and/or each of us, can foster the positive influence, and/or lesson the dangers, of new technologies on children’s development
- Any other comments, personal experiences, and/or insights you would like to add to this discussion