For over 30 years, we at Shaws Preschool have believed in learning through PLAY. This means going back to basics – where children learn by touching, feeling, being in nature, having real-life experiences to learn how the world works. And interacting with teachers and friends to build strong communication skills for the future.
However, our children are growing up in a changing world, surrounded by technology. This is a different world than the world we grew up in.
These are some of the questions our parents ask…
- Should we expose our child to technology?
- Do we keep them away from it until they are much older?
- What’s the difference between technology and screen time?
- How much is too much?
- Is technology bad?
Parenting is personal, and you know what is best for your child and your family. This how we approach technology at Shaws Preschool.
1. Not all technology is created equal.
Not all technology requires screen time. Technology can be introduced in its simplest forms, while still being play-based. For example, in our Shaws Preschool CodePlay programme, we use Bots (a simple robot). We ask the children to help the robot get from A to B, passing a number of obstacles.
To do this the children need to break down the instructions into a series of smaller instructions. Then they need to give the instructions to the Bot. This is a form of “decoding”. It is still play-based, it does not involve screen time for the younger children, but it is technology.
2. How much is too much?
At Shaws Preschool we use play-based technology, such as our robots, as interactive learning tools and they are lots of fun. We very rarely use screen time for learning. The vast majority of the children’s day is spent interacting with their teachers and friends in the classroom, in the outdoors or out on an excursion.
It is important that we help our children manage the amount of screen time they have. They are still very young and are not able to impose boundaries for themselves. That is why they rely on us adults to help them with this.
3. Embrace technology.
Technology is here to stay. We do not want to shield the children from technology, but it is still important to equip them with the necessary skills that they will need to work with it when they get older. We need to manage boundaries around what technology they are exposed to and how and how often they use it. Ensuring the technology they are using is age and developmentally appropriate.
Technology is a lot of fun, as well as useful!
4. Provide children with the foundations to enjoy technology, but not be consumed by it.
Technology is a great tool and we need to embrace it to prepare our children for the future. However, it is important that we give our children strong foundations in other skills as well. Such as self-confidence, resilience, creativity, critical thinking, imagination, communication, teamwork and problem-solving skills. These are skills that technology can replicate, and these are skills that will set our children apart from others in a world of technology.
Let’s help our children be prepared for the future, whilst giving them the skills to interact with each other as well.
Liane Shaw, Director of Play
If you have any questions or if you would like to find out more about Shaws Preschools please contact: email@example.com