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The Transformative Effects of Technological Change On Early Years' Development

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Introduction

DAVID REYNOLDS 03278679 The Transformative Effects of Technological Change On Early Years' Development Computers were first introduced into schools almost twenty years ago. The introduction changed the way in which young children would learn forever. When the computer was first introduced the main beneficial first order effect was seen as; when used appropriately technology could supplement and extend learning. Not only this but it was also predicted that it would give the young population an opportunity to become familiar with computers, giving them a head start in later life. Traditionally, the pre-school curriculum stated that schools must incorporate a variety of activities that try to promote "a balance of social, emotional, physical and intellectual stimulation for the young child."(Campbell, Fein 1946) Piaget stated, "Young children learn through hands on interactions with tangible materials, through play and by interacting with nature." Piaget was the first to take children's thinking seriously. ...read more.

Middle

Appropriate software became available which would engage children in creative play, problem solving and conversation. It was discovered that the sounds and graphics gained their attention and that they were able to control the pace of their learning. Supporters of this new technology believe that the computer stimulates children to perform tasks otherwise not developed until later stages. Young children were becoming as familiar with computers as they were with their toys. Despite serious concerns about isolation and impaired language development research demonstrates that children prefer working with a partner than working alone on a computer (King and Alloway,1992). They initiate interactions using high levels of language. Co-operation and compromise are developed working together at a computer, improving their social skills and enhancing development. In a recent publication "A Critical Look at Computers In Childhood" The Alliance For Childhood focuses on the negative effects that they fear computers in schools are having on young children. ...read more.

Conclusion

Results of data from the Centre For Best Practices In Early Childhood Education show that young children, specifically those with disabilities, do gain many skills when using computers and software in developmentally appropriate activities. ( Huntinger ,1996,2000) It is important for children to learn new technological skills as we move into an Information Age. Used correctly this technological change provides children with opportunities to learn in many different ways. Used incorrectly the computer becomes a cause for concern and subjected to adverse criticism. References * CORDES, C, and MILLER, E; Fools Gold: A critical look at computers in childhood. 1999 * HUNTINGER, P; Computer applications in programs for young children with disabilities. ACTTive Technology. 1996 * HUNTINGER, P; Young children with disabilities can exceed adult expectations when equipment, software, activities are appropriate. ACTTive Technology. 2000 * CAMPBELL, P and FEIN, G, Young children and microcomputers. Prentice Hall Inc. 1986 * Behrmann, R, Children and computer technology: The future of children. ...read more.

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