Magazine article Work & Family Life

Digital Technology and Preschoolers

Magazine article Work & Family Life

Digital Technology and Preschoolers

Article excerpt

The digital revolution is inescapable. These days even preschoolers know how to use a mouse, play DVDs and type on a computer-and this is just the warm-up for technology they will encounter at school.

Since the early days of television, researchers have been asking whether technology has a positive or negative influence on young children. Their findings, in a nutshell, are both. Content is the key as to whether the impact is good or bad.

Ellen Wartell, the author of Children and Television: 50 Years of Research, describes the research as "highly consistent." That is, children learn violence from media and, as a result, develop a predisposition to anti-social behavior. At the same time, TV can teach pro-social lessons and cognitive skills.

For example, Wartell reports on studies showing that young children who watch Mr. …

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