So we all start at the same place, with I hear”screen time” I picture any time in front of a television, computer, tablet or smartphone. Screen time is generally a sedentary activity meaning very little energy is expanded in it’s usage.
My personal definition of “screen time” includes the addition that there is a difference between “recreational” and “educational”. For an example, reading is a very sedentary activity, but is also highly valued for what it brings to a child’s development. Would I want a child to be reading all day? No, as with anything strong development is encouraged by a mix of activities. I see today’s technology as just another tool at me disposal to be used with intention to meet the needs of the children in my care.
It is my intention to provide your child with opportunities to investigate the world around them with concrete, hands-on learning activities while they are at Country Fun Child Care. To support this investigation, there will be usage a of variety of materials and tools, including today’s technology.
All technology is not created equal and there is a true difference between recreational and educational usage. Unintentional time spent in front of a screen can get in the way of children exploring their surroundings, playing and interacting with peers, all of which are important for healthy minds and bodies.
The practice at Country Fun reflects my belief in the value of intentional usage of technology. Recreational viewing is limited, while educational viewing is intentionally integrated into the program. Screen time is not used as a filler, but is actively engaged in.
I approach the usage of technology within the program by following the joint position statement of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and the Fred Rogers Center for Early Learning and Children’s Media at Saint Vincent College.
- Above all, the use of technology tools and interactive media should not harm children.
- Professional judgment is required to determine if and when a specific use of technology or media is age appropriate, individually appropriate, and culturally and linguistically appropriate.
- Developmentally appropriate teaching practices must always guide the selection of any classroom materials, including technology and interactive media.
- Appropriate use of technology and media depends on the age, developmental level, needs, interests, linguistic background, and abilities of each child.
- When used appropriately, technology and media can enhance children’s cognitive and social abilities.
- Interactions with technology and media should be playful and support creativity, exploration, pretend play, active play, and outdoor activities
- Technology tools can help educators make and strengthen home–school connections.
- Digital citizenship is an important part of digital literacy for young children.
Screen time is not used as a reward or to manage challenging behavior.