The impact of technology on early childhood development


BCom honours

The world we live in is dominated by the devices that we rely on each day. These can have negative effects on those who use them. Sadly, this includes children who are becoming more and more dependent on these gadgets. For aspiring teachers interested in early childhood development courses, it’s vital to be aware of the pitfalls and challenges associated with living in the digital era.

Those that have already completed early childhood development courses might know all about the impact that technology has on young minds. In teaching children, it can become evident that too much screen time can negatively affect productivity and emotional development. It’s why those interested in educational consultancy are striving to find new ways to lessen the impact made by smart devices in the classroom. Unfortunately, school management can only take things so far. What happens at home undoubtedly sets the tone for learning at school, this puts parents in a difficult position.

Technology has a profound impact on the way children socialise. If you consider the way that you might have grown up, you’ll see that times have definitely changed. You probably grew up playing outside with other children in the neighbourhood. Today, many children stay inside in favour of playing on the computer or watching TV. This means that they aren’t as good at engaging with other young people. In fact, when they encounter others, they’re more likely to feel shy or overwhelmed.

Another downside of today’s children not playing outside as much is a definite lack of exercise. This means that childhood obesity and associated lifestyle conditions are on the rise. Whilst extra murals can help promote physical activity, many kids would rather go home where they can interact with their devices. Part of being outdoors is gaining a vital vitamin, vitamin D. This is responsible for immunity and skin health, it also promotes a positive sleep cycle.

Eye issues are becoming more common as young people stare at screens and become accustomed to glare. Research shows that the blue light that comes from tablets and smartphones causes headaches, eye irritation and strain. The same blue light also disrupts the sleep cycle due to its ability to suppress melatonin, the hormone that helps us sleep. With less sleep, children wake up tired and head to school where they might find it difficult to learn.

In today’s world, we cannot afford to consume technology without taking time to inform ourselves on the consequences. It’s why every parent and educator should be striving to make a difference to the way their children learn. By limiting exposure to harmful technologies outside their use for educational purposes, we can help the next generation thrive in the way that they deserve to.

If you’re interested in pursuing a career in teaching, The IIE’s Varsity College can help you take life to the next level. For more on our IIE Bachelor of Education in Foundation Phase Teaching please click here to visit our website.

Varsity College is an educational brand of The Independent Institute of Education (The IIE). South Africa’s leading private higher education provider that’s registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training and accredited by the British Accreditation Council (BAC).