Computers in Preschool Classrooms?

Parents are pressuring the staff to have preschool students use computers during the day. Are children this young really using technology? Where can I learn more about things we should take into consideration?

According to a report released by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, 48% of all children ages 0-6 have used a computer, and seven out of ten 4-6 year olds use computers. In fact, 27% of these 4-6 year olds use computers daily. Parents surveyed said they viewed computer use as an important skill for their preschool aged children.

The report doesn't offer answers, but it does raise many questions that educators need to consider. For example, are interactive computer programs better for a child's development than a passive technology such as viewing a video? Are there ergonomics issues that must be considered? Is early computer use related to higher academic achievement later?

You can access the full report , Zero to Six: Electronic Media in the Lives of Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers at http://www.kff.org/content/2003/20031028/.

Submitted by: Susan Brooks-Young

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