Hello Infantium friends, I'm Sara Tarrés, a child psychologist and a mom of two little ones: a 4 year old boy and a 16 months boy. Some of you may already know me from the blogging My mother is a child psychologist, others from my collaborations with babyradio, and some of you get to know me for the first time.
When the Infantium team proposed the idea of participating in their blog as a guest author, I did not hesitate a moment, as I found that it was a very interesting and innovative project. Understanding the importance and relevance that information and communication technologies (ICT) play supporting the learning process of our children, I declare myself as a strong advocate and supporter of making good use of them since early years.
Few are those who doubt, today, the recognized potential of ICT as catalysts for early childhood education, knowledge and entertainment, fostering the development and training of children. Everyone –parents, educators, teachers, professors –should promote responsible and appropriate use of technology in early years education as a driver for learning and gaining knowledge.
Our children were born digital, “digital natives”—immersed in digital technology from birth—, and almost are better at this than we are. In addition, a majority of households own at least one device: a computer, a tablet PC or a smartphone. In my case, we have them all, and the first time I saw my oldest son –when he was barely 2 years old –unlocking my iPad to find one of his favorite apps ... It was perfectly evident.
As I said in my presentation, I’m the mother of two kids, -one 4 year old boy and 16 months –and I use with them all the great educational potential that the advent of tablet-based PCs and smartphones started to offer. Interactive books, bits of intelligence or flashcards, puzzles, painting and drawing pads, pianos… every single tool I think is helping to boost their learning at home is welcomed.
Just an example: when using any of the many bits of intelligence applications or flashcards I have downloaded on my tablet, I do know that while my child has lots of fun he’s also increasing his vocabulary. This kind of educational applications –based on the theory of early learning educator Glenn Doman – allow infants to develop the capacity for language and to build their vocabulary.
But this is just the beginning. What will happen and which new technologies and new features will be available to us? We just can't imagine it. Still, imagine the multitude of learning opportunities that new technologies will bring. Of course if used as a tool, let’s not neglect other traditional methods. Experimentation, object manipulation, discovery learning ... are critical for our children to fully develop their motor skills and intellectual abilities, language, attention, memory, logic, spatial awareness... Let’s take advantage of them! Betting on technology and encouraging its adequate use is investing on the future of our kids.
Sara Tarrés Corominas