Whilst not lambasting the traditional wax and crayon activities, the ubiquitous digital age has inevitably contributed to the calibre of children that the next generation will produce. Embracing such a constant may possibly attune to the building blocks of child development.
In a well-monitored and safe environment, enhancement of cognitive development and self-exploration was observed. At this stage of development, children’s inquisitiveness increases their knowledge base. The level of their intellectual capacity with other balanced activities can positively contribute to the learning experience. Children may be influenced through interactive tools on subject matter that fascinates them. Davison (2009) described that a six-and-half-year-old boy used Google to search for more information about the lizard he learned from a book. An independent trait-initiation, is learnt and thus accelerating them for distinct problem solving.
The misaligned perception that children do not benefit from digital literacy development influences how parents continue the learning experience beyond classrooms. Social purpose and development must be nurtured for self-awareness; an example according to McPake et al (2013) described what occurs when a child participated in a video-call. He could realise and interpret emotions. In response, the child provided a selection of appropriate pictures to convey his emotions.
Rapid brain growth occurs in early developmental stages and a positive stimulus contributes to well-rounded speech and language development. Game consoles, e-readers, amongst others, readily assist in vocabulary and pronunciation. This interaction amplifies linguistic development and effective comprehension with digital context.
Finally, it is safe to assume that IT, with appropriate guidance to children and a steady integration, will complement the learning experiences in ECD programmes. It’s an atypical, fun and stimulating approach. This is particularly positive and will address other shortcomings in the education sector. It goes without saying that harnessing our children for growth in this digital revolution we face, is an absolute must.
Contribution by: Leah Tlokweng Hutamo (1003525)