technology as a tool of empowerment for young children

Children are naturally active, empowered protagonists in their relationships with modern technologies.

NAEYC/Fred Rogers Center Position Statement on Technology and Interactive Media in Early Childhood Programs notes “When used intentionally and appropriately, technology and interactive media are effective tools to support learning and development.” 

Learning spaces and experiences that support child-directed interaction, accompanied by respectful technical support and responsive listening from adults have the potential to drive meaningful interaction with technology. 

Perhaps the challenges and issues with regard to technology and young children have to do with how comfortable adults are in their relationship with technology, and how adults define engagement. An adult who sees technology as burdensome or something to be passively consumed will most likely carry this mindset into how they present and model use with young children. 

The benefits of using technology

for children and society, include incredible opportunities for innovation, creativity, and conceptual and social connection. When technology is intentionally included in learning experiences, these opportunities emerge. Intention includes an openness to experimentation, as Vea Vecchi states, “The digital experience is much too often exhausted simply in its functional and technical form. However, in addition to its technical aspect, if it is also used in creative and imaginative ways, it reveals a high level of expressive cognitive, and social potentials as well as great possibilities for evolution.” 

In my all-virtual context of Outschool I encounter children from around the world experiencing benefits afforded by technology in their social, emotional, cognitive, speech, language and physical learning and development. I witness connections that are profound- sharing stories about the loss of family members and pets, joyful- describing and sharing birthday and holiday celebrations, and everyday- the weather outside their homes or their favorite toys and foods. The human-centered connections afforded by technology speak to the benefits for children and society. I am grateful for the ability to interact with children and families from all over the world in real-time group learning experiences, thanks to technology.

Forman, G , Vecchi, V (2012). The Hundred Languages of Children: The Reggio Emilia Experience in Transformation. Third Edition. (p.308, 352) Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger.

Published by Andrea Dupree

I'm an artist, Yogi and Reggio-inspired Virtual Educator. ✨✌️