The Future of Toys in the Digital Age
As with all things, new technology is changing the way we learn. Nowadays it’s not uncommon to see young children running around with smartphones and tablets — and probably using them better than you!
However, there is continued debate over whether or not giving children access to computers and smart technology from a young age is a good idea. Despite the existence of parental controls, access to content that is not kid-friendly on the internet still remains a danger. And then there’s the simple argument that children won’t get enough exercise if they’re spending all day cooped up inside staring at the screens of their devices. People who welcome new technology for children argue that it presents fantastic educational opportunities, and introduces children to the world of digital technology from an early age — which is especially important in a world where everything is increasingly moving online.
So who’s right? Let’s see what each side has to say…
Digital technology is the inevitable way of the future. And nowadays, there is a growing emphasis on encouraging children to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) disciplines, and there has been a growing number of people pushing for coding to be incorporated into school curriculum. Introducing children to computers and smart devices from an early age gives them a head start in the digital world, with educational programs and applications growing only more powerful each year.
Steve Jobs famously said that he shielded his children away from using iPads, and there is a trend in Silicon Valley of tech execs and engineers keeping their children away from technology in the early stages of their development. Technology has been accused of hindering the imagination and creativity of young children. Spending long hours playing computer games instead prevents them from spending time outdoors getting the exercise they need, or mingling with other children and developing their social skills. And then there’s the issue of children being exposed to harmful content on the weekend, potentially without the knowledge of the parents.
Both sides of the argument have merits, and ultimately what it really boils down to is ensuring that you have clearly defined rules for your child when it comes to using digital technology. Give them access to the powerful opportunities that computers and smart devices provide, but make sure they are not exposed to any harmful content in the process — and make sure they are getting enough sunlight!