Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Technology and the 2 year old

Has it really been a few months since my latest post. Time really does fly. It's been a busy few months with school starting up again.

I was recently in a faculty meeting where someone mentioned they were investigating the effects of technology on education and whether there was a correlation to increased mastery of material when technology was incorporated into the curriculum. Of course, I certainly believe in that theory or I would not be in the field of education and technology. I will be interested in what the findings of this research project are but I wanted to share a personal story with you about the influence of technology on learning.

My son is now 2 years old and is really into being read books. However, neither my wife nor I have necessarily sat down and tried to teach him to identify letters or numbers. Colors and shapes yes, but we figured he was still too young to start pushing the literary skills. Now he does watch a great deal of TV (Blue's Clues and SuperWhy are among his favorite programs) and these shows of course are introducing numbers and letters. Now, his grandparents who live just outside Athens, Greece (hence the title of my blog) sent his older sister a toy laptop a few years back and it has been one of his favorite toy's to play with. One of the games on that laptop is a letter identification game. Additinally, we have not necessarily tried to teach our children any Greek since my daughter appeared to be having a late onset of speech due to the bilingual nature of her first year or so on earth. OK, there's the background -- here's the story.

I came home from work the other day and my wife called me saying "come in here you won't believe this!" At this point I'm thinking: OK, what did the kids break now?! I walked into the family room to find my wife's jaw practically on the ground. My daughter had brought something home from school that had been decorated with letters and there was my 2 year old son pointing to random letters and vocally identifying them in English and Greek!!! That's when my jaw hit the floor.

Now remember, the only way he had been introduced to letters was through the TV and this little Greek laptop toy. If technology hasn't already played a role in my child's brain development, I'm not sure what has!

Just food for thought.
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