Slava Volman: Article Encourages Parents to Balance Technology with Play for Maximum Learning in Kids
A new article advises parents to use technology in conjunction with more traditional play methods to make sure kids are getting the most out of their downtime. Slava Volman, a day care provider and teacher, supports the article's suggestions.
New York, NY (PRWEB) October 29, 2012
A new article released by The Washington Post encourages parents to supplement a child's use of technology with physical playtime to create an environment that is most conducive to learning. The article explains that while iPad and iPhone apps are beneficial to stimulating young minds, children also need physical playtime to continue to grow and learn. Day care provider and educator Slava Volman supports the article's suggestions.
In the piece, Nancy Carlsson-Paige, a professor emerita of education at Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, discusses the impact technology has on kids. She writes, “It wasn't long ago that we were talking about how much TV kids should watch. And now here we are in the midst of a technology revolution that is happening so fast that we can barely keep up with the number of devices and the options for screen time available to kids—on computers, tablets, cell phones, iPhones, flip down car monitors, interactive “app” toys, and on and on.”
The article points out that this burst of technology is still so new that proper research hasn't come about, yet we do know that 72 percent of iTunes' top-selling educational apps are designed for preschoolers and elementary school kids.
The article also goes on to note that researchers who have tracked children's creativity levels for 50 years are seeing a serious decrease in creativity in kids for the first time. This is especially true in younger children who are in kindergarten through sixth grade. Researchers attribute this at least partially to the decline in actual physical play.
Says Slava Volman, “These statistics are alarming, particularly to people who work with young children or have young children at home. You want your kids to create and explore and use their imaginations. We're lucky to have apps and other tools to stimulate young minds as we wait at doctor's offices or in line at the grocery store. However, parents and educators need to take care not to let these devices replace other means of expressing creativity. Use apps for play and exploration, but also use crayons and wooden blocks and clay and more “hands-on” materials like parents used in years past.”
The article discusses how important physical play is for developing minds, explaining that the exercise helps stimulate development of emotional health, imagination, creative thinking, problem solving, critical thinking, and self-regulation. While it may seem as if certain creative activities encourage meaningless imagination games, in reality it helps a child to work their way through life scenarios and learn how to solve every day problems. As children work with materials like blocks and clay, the individual is learning concepts that can help as they continue their academic development later in life.
The problem with apps and other forms of technology, the article's author explains, is that screens only serve as a representation of the real world. What's happening on screen doesn't stimulate a mind as fully as actually touching and moving a physical object. While apps are certainly more interactive than simply watching television, playing with apps still does not allow the child to use their entire mind, body, and senses, instead limiting the child to work only with the app's rules and guidelines.
Slava Volman notes, “As parents and educators, we need to appreciate what apps and technology can provide our children. At the same time, we can't rely on these tools to teach our children for us. We need to take a proactive approach to stimulating our children's imaginations. Get them outside, play pretend with them, and read to them. Use apps in small doses, but don't rely on them to take over the role of books and imagination and other forms of learning.”
Slava Volman is the creator of Shooting Stars Day Care, which is a childcare facility that specializes in providing a personalized and educational experience for kids of all ages. Prior to opening his own day care facility, Slava spent years working as a Kindergarten teacher and an afterschool child care provider. He earned a reputation for his patience and ability to work with kids of a variety of ages. Slava believes in the importance of a nurturing and intellectually- stimulating day care service.
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