Technology Tie-in: Promote Children's Social Development with Technology (page 2)
Perhaps you have heard the claim that computers and other technology interfere with children’s social development. Let’s look at this argument and consider some things you can do to ensure that your use of technology with young children supports and enhances their social development.
Social development involves interacting with and getting along with other children and teachers. Social development also includes the development of self-esteem, the feelings children have about themselves. During the early childhood years, true peer relationships begin to emerge. Children’s interactions and relationships with others expand their views of the world and of themselves. Early childhood is also a time when children are learning self-control and self-reliance. Adults expect children to develop self-regulation, control aggression, and function without constant supervision. How children meet these expectations has tremendous implications for their social development.
You can use computers and other technology to help children develop positive peer relationships, grow in their abilities of self-regulation and self-control, and develop positive self-esteem. Here are some things you can do to accomplish these goals:
- Have children work on projects together in pairs or small groups. Several children can work on the computer and other projects at the same time.
- Make sure that each computer has several chairs to encourage children to work together. Learning through technology is not inherently a solitary activity. You can find many ways to make it a cooperative and social learning experience.
- Provide children opportunities to talk about their technology projects. Social development includes learning to talk confidently, explain, and share information with others.
- Encourage children to explore adult roles related to technology, such as newscaster, weather forecaster, and photographer. Invite adults from the community to share with children how they use technology in their careers. Invite a television crew to show children how they broadcast from community locations.
- Read stories about technology and encourage children to talk about technology in their lives and the lives of their families.
- Use the Internet and e-mail to connect children to other children. Have them exchange ideas and work on short reports. Remember that social development can occur electronically!
- Use technology to encourage a socially isolated child to develop social skills. “Sophia, let’s use the video camera to interview Mrs. Little, the cafeteria manager, on good nutrition ideas for use at home.”
- Create a learning center devoted to technology. The writing and publishing of a classroom newspaper is a great way to promote social interactions. Make sure all children have a job, for example, reporter, writer, or photographer.
As you use technology to promote children’s social development, remember that all dimensions of children’s development are integrated. The cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical support depend on each other, and technology can positively support all of these dimensions of development.
Complete an activity on promoting children’s social development with technology at http://www.prenhall.com/morrison
© ______ 2008, Merrill, an imprint of Pearson Education Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. The reproduction, duplication, or distribution of this material by any means including but not limited to email and blogs is strictly prohibited without the explicit permission of the publisher.
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