Toddlers and technology: Learning over the internet - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Toddlers and technology: Learning over the internet

(Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)
(Source: CNN) (Source: CNN)
(Source: KFDA) (Source: KFDA)
Esau Ortiz, Parent Esau Ortiz, Parent
Tiffany Laur, Professional Counselor Tiffany Laur, Professional Counselor

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Many young children are surfing the web and even using it to learn, but is using it to teach toddlers going to far? 

Google recently released a new feature that allows children to learn what sounds animals make by simply searching "what sound does a (insert animal) make" or "animal noises." Toddlers can then click through 19 different animals noises and do a further Google search to learn more about them.

But will parents let their children use this feature and how do they feel about letting their use the internet to learn at a young age? 

Esau Oritz said his daughter already uses technology to learn, so he wouldn't mind if she used the new feature under his supervision.

"I feel that technology will help since I'm not there most of the time, so she learns her colors on YouTube," Ortiz said. "She also learns other stuff like the alphabet, colors, and shapes." 

Professional counselor Tiffany Laur said growing up her children didn't use technology to learn - they did more physical activities.  However, she understands how the new feature can be useful.

"If you don't have a toy around with you, but you're at a grocery store and your child wants to play with animal sounds, how wonderful is it that can Google that and have it right on your phone," Laur said. 

Experts believe even though technology can be an effective way of learning, older methods like books and tangible toys can be more beneficial for a child developmentally. 

"There is research to support that using technology for learning purposes can help a child to have higher language skills as well as meta-cognition skills that children that don't use technology have; however, there's the flip side of that coin," Laur said. "How much is it limiting them physically by having everything so accessible by the push of a button." 

Laur said using toys like a See N Say is more interactive than using a Google feature, computer, or an iPad, and can be more beneficial for children too develop fine motor skills. 

"The See N Say is a perfect example," Laur said. "If you think about about a toy that we probably all had as a child where it had a big arrow in the center and you had to physically turn it. You had to twist your wrist and turn it, you had to use your had to manipulate the toy to point to the animal sound that you wanted to hear and then pull a lever. That is so much more engaging physically then just pushing a button." 

Some experts believe using the internet and technology at a young age isn't all bad.  They feel it may help make toddlers for technologically savvy in the future.

Laur said parents can mix teaching methods, but they need to make sure there is a time limit when using technology. 

"I think you just have to consider moderation whether they're little bitty or whether they're much older children, and having a good balance of both," Laur said.

Ortiz agrees that if parents do allow their children to use the internet and technology there needs to be restrictions. 

"I think there should be a time limit on the child using any kind of electronic [device] with internet access," Ortiz said. "Too much time is not good." 

Copyright 2016 KFDA. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly