Explore with your kids
CONSTANT smart phone, tablet and computer use by children may have a bad rap, but Macquarie Universtity academic Kate Highfield said the right use of technology would open doors for education.
Throughout her research as an academic at the university’s Institute of Early Childhood, Dr Highfield said she had come across a number of parents who were hesitant about the damaging effects of screen time.
“The reality is that the technology genie is out of the bottle, so rather than ignoring the technology and hoping it will disappear, we’re better off focusing on how to use it,” she said.
“My job is to say, yes there are concerns about technology but let’s find a balance and use it well, it can open up incredible opportunities for children.”
Research suggested the trick to ensuring positive effects from technology was to use it in a way that encouraged cognitive thought.
“The balance occurs when we don’t use the device as a babysitter.”
Parents should not expect their children to use technology in the right way if they haven’t explored it together first, Dr Highfield said.
“It takes away some of the angst of using technology if we just consider it another play space.”