Computers and the Development of Young Children
While there is a genuine hope among some educators that computer use will radically restructure the process of education, and fear from others that it may very well succeed in doing so, it is unlikely that such aspirations or fears should be held for early childhood education at this time. Nor does it seem likely that the situation will change quickly. Evidence from both theoretical and empirical sources suggests that computers by themselves are not advantageous or disadvantageous for young children. As with any new item of preschool equipment, their value depends on the context within which the item is used, and on the manner in which the environment for learning and development is established by teachers and parents. A number of observational studies need to be done before it becomes evident which variables should be investigated. Adults' perceptions of computers, and their expectations for their use, will shape the way in which they will be used. The theme of this paper is that careful thought must be given to the model of education being promulgated when computers are advocated for young children. (RH)
McMillan, B. Computers and the Development of Young Children.
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