My expertise in educational technology has always been with older students. My teaching experience is in middle school and my certification is 6-12. Having young children has opened my eyes to a whole new world of technological innovations, but it has also increased my concerns. What skills do I want them to have? How much TV/computer/LeapTag is "ok"? Will they be too dependent on technology? Will their teachers make the right choices? I want to protect them, but also prepare them at the same time. Below, I highlight some of the choices I have made with the best of my knowledge in EdTech.
The YouTube video above is of my youngest daughter. She is 2 1/2 and representative of a whole new generation of learners. She isn't able to use the computer yet, but the iPad is perfect for little fingers. I limit her use to about 10 minutes, a couple times a week. Her TV watching is also limited to a couple of shows a week (PBS or Sprout only).
My older daughter will be entering Kindergarden next year. She has become more interested in the computer in the past few months, and today, I just set up her own account on my Mac. The account settings are are strict: only allowing the calculator, TextEdit, dictionary, and the internet. The internet only allows the following websites: StarFall, Bembo's Zoo, Sesame Street, PBS Kids, Discovery Kids, BBC Kids, Crayola Digi-Color, Sheppard Software (paid version), and BoohBah. No software yet.
I hope this information helps other parents make smart choices, and I'd love to hear about your choices as well. What are your limitations for your young learners?