The virtual world: when to introduce children?
We are in an era in which new technologies are an indispensable means in life. But we have had the "luck" to educate ourselves in an analogical world, and thus be able to discover its possibilities, and its limitations and dangers. Our children are already digital natives, "and if we do not direct their introduction in this virtual world, they will not be able to do so, which is why we need to know them, to guide them, also in new technologies.
The scientist and psychiatrist, Manfred Spitzer, considers that "personal learning depends on the figure of the parents, and the teacher, to structure knowledge, the ability of the intelligence that is specified in establishing neural relationships between these brain networks ... And in the delay of learning can influence the screens, if we do not use them correctly, especially in children and teenagers".
The education of a person will always be analogical. It is necessary to learn in family how important life is, to interact with others, to attend to feelings, to feel loved, to know how to surprise, to imagine, to make it attractive ... We must put emotional intelligence in human relationships. And in this way, with love, and knowing how to make it interesting, to teach to read, to write, to take notes, to work in class with the teacher, study, etc.
When to introduce the child in the virtual world?
The American Academy of Pediatrics made some recommendations on this point, addressed to governments, schools ... etc. For example, advises not to use tablets in children, before two years; and then with some conditions. They are very concerned about the amount of time that children are in front of a screen. Although they recognize their potential, few contents meet the requirements of producing positive effects. Therefore, the involvement of parents is vital.
Other information: at five years old, You can use screens, * a maximum of one hour a day, but with adequate contents, and with specific rules. Always guided by parents.
For those over six years, it is necessary to establish a concrete plan in family, with a time of exercise, and a care of the dream. This means, do not use them two hours before bedtime. Therefore, each family is the protagonist and must establish its plan. Just as we have an educational project with each child, with respect to the acquisition of habits, knowledge, training of their will, caring for feelings ... we must also think about what we want to present to the virtual world.
Pediatricians also warn about the frequency of "calming" children with screens, so they leave us alone. It's not good for them, and they get used to it. In addition, the social game is much more enriching than the digital, and source of acquisition of skills and abilities, as well as personal interaction.
How children's brains work
The brain does not work like a computer, with a specific storage capacity. The brain learns by establishing relationships between different areas, based on what has already been assimilated, and emotions have a lot to do with it. The more we know, the better we will learn other new things, because we have where to set it and relate it.
It is not a data warehouse, but it processes it, and it is based on the connection of neural networks, which relate the information they handle. For example, the interconnection between the different sensory zones, the cognitive zone, the emotional zone ... Therefore, to be intelligent is to relate the different things in thought. * There are also different types of intelligence, as H. Gardner points out. and each person is a different world. *
But you need to have an experiential base to learn and build your own knowledge. And the children need a person who is structuring their learning, who are first the parents, and then the teachers and teachers, aided by the parents as well. And not only "teach" things, but make it attractive, that the child wants to learn, that motivates him from within, because he enjoys. In this way, it costs you no effort, and assimilates what excites you.
In addition, the brain, not only manages data from reality, but images, memories, and especially feelings and emotions. All reality is tinged with feelings, and we know it through our sensitivity and affectivity. It is what facilitates learning. And on the other hand, the sensitivity of the mother, or of the father, is what establishes a bond with the children, through which they feel accepted and loved ... And in that way, they feel security and confidence, to develop, to mature, to be themselves.
This is how children learn new things
The child learns when the new internalizes what he already knows, when it relates to it, and when he establishes an affective bond. If not, you can not learn. And the parents, or the teacher, are giving structures on which to build what should be learned.It must also be exciting, to motivate the child, and that he can assimilate it, because he enjoys it.
When the mind is already a bit structured, you can introduce the digital world, with some premises. But first, what you can do is delay the development and maturation of the child.
Inger Enkvist, Swedish expert in education, already affirmed it many years ago, before the boom in technology. Digital skills are rather a type of professional learning, which can be acquired, or refined, at any time of life, but it does not help especially the intellectual development or the thinking capacity of the child. *
María José Calvo Blog author Optimists educating and loving