Research shows that technological devices aids in a child’s development but how much time is healthy? Early Childhood educators need to be privy about how to reduce a child’s screen time for health, psychological and educational benefits. This includes awareness on screen safety and how modern devices can be leveraged in the classroom as well as the important connection between mental development and sleep.

Dr. Robyn Anderson, Early Childhood program lecturer in-charge from James Cook University (JCU) in Singapore was at Kolej Dika recently. She shared her thoughts on the topic that is gaining much attention among Early Childhood Education practitioners entitled “How Much Screen Time and Access to Technology Should Young Children Have?

The aim of the talk was to increase the awareness of teachers and parents on the importance of technology in the education of young children and suggestions on appropriate screen time. There have been concerns by various health organisations around the world that young children should have limited screen time and access to technology despite the fact that they are living and growing up in a technology-centric world.

However, there is conflicting evidence on the value of technology for young children’s development. As such, the talk touched upon the evidence for and against young children’s use of technology and the types of technology in particular that may assist them in their physical, social, emotional and cognitive development.

Feedback from Kolej Dika students:

Kong Choi Mei said: “I understand the important role as an early childhood educator. Today, being a parent and a teacher, it is a struggle to limit our children to use technology devices like computer, tablets and handphones. Most of us are busy moms who have to spend most of the time in the kitchen preparing meal and completing house chores. Therefore, to keep the children occupied, we tend to use our ‘assistant’-tablet to keep them engaged or avoid them to interrupt our work. “

Felicity Lee said that after listening to this talk, I learned that screen addiction could be controlled as long as we use technology devices wisely, appropriately and interactively. Children can be encouraged to play tech games, online phonics with mini games or just simply playing a vocabulary game with the family. What an informative talk.