Learning through play.
In the early childhood, most kids learn through play. If your child gets plenty of play in their early childhood then it’s great for their development and learning; through play and activity-based learning, they know develop their brain. During this period they can even learn environment, be creative and imaginative and develop fine motor skills. However, in our modern society, the activities of the kids have been changed.
Recently, electronic gadgets have become an inseparable place in the daily routines of the infants, preschoolers, and all children. The use of tech toys has been greatly adopted, that even a 3-4-year-old kid can operate the cell phones, download the apps, play their favorite games, and watch their nursery rhymes by just one click on the screen.
The use of technology has helped the kids in learning, education and development of skills. They are more independent and can explore concepts based on their own interests. The electronic educational toys like touchpads, mini-tablets, and video games, etc. have some pros and cons for the preschoolers which are as follows:
Pros of online learning through electronic gadgets
Innovation in children’s toys has been extremely popular throughout the previous 60 years. From melodic books to talking and light-up robots, these toys are attractive for the little kids. Having these kinds of toys will assist them with the accompanying:
· Awareness about the technology
It has been observed that children access to the technological toys in their early life makes them more aware of the latest technology types and usage later in their lives.
· Enhanced learning
The educational apps, digital books having singing alphabets and digital touchpads increase attraction for young children with personalized learning.
Children have unlimited boundaries on what is digitally possible. They can explore different worlds and create almost anything.
· Easiness in learning
Technology increases accessibility, and allows children to learn anywhere anytime
· Large content The use of electronic toys for education has replaced the burden of carrying books. Now large content is available for the children on a small device.
Drawbacks of electronic educational gadgets for children
Although electronic devices have large, there are some negative feelings. For example, young kids become addicted to their electronic toys that they will disregard their siblings and parents. They will spend most of their time with these toys and sacrificing physical. Their dependence on technology makes them lazy and distracts their concentration while studying physically. They will be bored with daily activities and adopt a sedentary lifestyle which would ultimately result in poor health, mood swings, and emotional distress.
According to many scientific studies, the early 3 to 6 years of the life of every child are very crucial for development. Sadly, during this period they spend most of their time with digital educational toys. Distraction with digital devices causes social issues because they will forget with their encompassing world and be socially confined(Dalle et al., 2015).
Scientific studies believe that excess usage of electronic gadgets suppressed the emotional development of the kids because it is necessary for them to have some physical activities for better interaction with the environment (Mamatha, Hanakeri, & Aminabhavi, 2016). Pre Frontal Cortex is an area in the brain which controls the emotion, power of making a decision, controlling the nerves and moral attributes of any individual. The kids who use an excess of technology, will result in high amounts of dopamine in their brain and suppress the Pre Frontal Cortex area of the brain. Anxiety and stress are caused by children who become attached to these electornic devices (Suhana, 2017). Therefore there must be a balance in online and offline activities of the preschool kids. Keeping in view the scientific facts about the drawbacks of technology usage for preschoolers , there needs to be a middle ground that can possess the benefits of educational technology with necessity for offline play. Some educational interactive toys that offer offline play are Osmo by Tangible Play, Shifu by Play Shifu, and KidX Classbox by KidX. The drawbacks ith Osmo is due to its camera-based technology, it requires a specific flat surface to work on which limits its usability to a confined place. Shifu is like Osmo that uses camera to see detect objects in a specific area. Both products are hard to scale new content because each content must align with the camera. KidX Classbox uses physical touch on its pad, like proposed but never launched Microsoft Zanzibar. By using physical touch, the product can be used any where from sofa to care to beach. Also, another advantage of the physical touch-based system is adding content is a lot easier than programming a camera to recognize specific new toys. Based on our analysis, KidX Classbox is good educational toy for children 3 to 5 years old that combines offline and online.
Dalle, J., Mutalib, A. A., Saad, A. L., Ayub, M. N., Wahab, A. W. A., & Nasralla, A. M. H. (2015). Usability considerations make digital interactive book potential for inculcating interpersonal skills. Jurnal Teknologi, 77(29).
Mamatha, S., Hanakeri, P. A., & Aminabhavi, V. A. (2016). Impact of gadgets on emotional maturity, reasoning ability of college students. Int J Applied Res, 2(3), 749-755.
Suhana, M. (2017). Influence of Gadget Usage on Children’s Social-Emotional Development. Paper presented at the International Conference of Early Childhood Education (ICECE 2017).