Why 5 Year Olds Benefit From Technology

There has been a lot of talk about technology and young children. This has hit home with me. While
a Kindergarten teacher for many years, I was always told, technology was not in the best interest of
my students. They can’t read, they can’t write, they don’t have fine motor skills, so they do not need
computers or technology.

My answer to this was: Well, I guess we don’t need pencils, they can’t write, we don’t need books, they
can’t read, and we don’t need scissors, they don’t have fine motor skills.

The purpose of education is to teach skills that students do not have yet, not pull things out of their
reach because they don’t have the skills.

When a child first picks up a book, he has no idea of what it is, what it will do, what worth is it to him.
He turns it round, throws it, and drops it. Eventually, he learns that books are entertaining and give
him new words to practice, that it has pages that can be turned, but it follows a process of order and
direction on which way the pages should be turned. There is also a direction that the book itself should
be held.

Think of all the learning that has just taken place. Now let’s look at a computer or iPad.

When the child first picks up an iPad, he has no idea of what it is, what it will do, what worth it is to
him. He turns it round, throws it, drops it. Eventually, he learnes that iPads are entertaining and give
him letters to remember, numbers to identify, objects to count and more. He learns that the pages can
be turned by swiping his hand across the screen and that when you turn the iPad in various directions,
things happen on the screen and when you are reading a book on it, it looks better in the landscape
position because there is more room to see the pictures.

Both are learning tools. Both have a place in Kindergarten rooms, even though the students may not be
able to read.

As much as some would love it, the Kindergarten student does not read all day. There are things to
cut out, pictures to color, clay to mold, center times to be involved with, outside playtime, music class,
physical education class, library class.

As much as some would love it, the Kindergarten student does not iPad all day. There are things to
cut out, pictures to color, clay to mold, center times to be involved with, outside playtime, music class,
physical education class, library class.

In my opinion, Kindergarten is for exploring the world and how it relates to a 5 year old. Technology is
just part of that world that needs exploring, just as books are. Time limits on each tool are a given as
there is a huge world out there to discover.

But why deny a child to look at the purple tulips just because he doesn’t realize they are purple?

By Susan Brooks, NKR Education expert Internet4Classrooms.com

| Filed under Education Articles

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