Kiddies, Beeps and Clicks

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I received my first cell phone in the sixth grade. Studies show that, “children receive their first mobile phone at the average age of seven.”  Today, I have seen children ages 1-4 know how to operate a cell phone! In fact, my friend’s baby is one-year-old, and he already knows what it is, how to say it and that he should swipe his finger to change the screen! It’s amazing! Some have a general understanding how to operate a phone before they know how to say – let alone – write their name. These learned behaviors occur from observation – just like anything else. (Oh – and he knows the difference between a real phone and a toy phone.) Technology is proving to be exponentially beneficial in the educational development of children. Their interaction is displaying an intelligence we might not have otherwise noticed.

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Daniel R. Anderson’s, PhD, professor of psychology at the University of Massachusetts, discovery that “repetition reinforces learning resulted in Nickelodeon’s strategy of repeating episodes on five consecutive days.” Websites catered to children are a new media technology in itself. However, creators are beginning to incorporate new media within the sites. Such media includes videos, interactive games, and quizzes. Counting games and so much more are readily available on a smart phone or tablet. Not only are the children working towards becoming fluent in educational subjects, but they are subconsciously becoming fluent with technology as well. With such early exposure to technology, are they prone to becoming addicted to technology, obsessed with their cell phones and social media – like much of our teens today? Most parents are unaware of how often their children are being exposed to media in a day. Here is a study of one parent who was surprised by the amount of hours her child was exposed to media. 

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