Technology is all around us, shaping how we as a society work, play and learn. While this pervasiveness can be overwhelming and distracting at times, technology can be harnessed to educate, inform and unify.

Deeper connection

In addressing the challenges that parents face in ensuring their children’s appropriate use of technology, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently advised that interacting with technology as a family facilitates social interaction and learning. When parents and children read and play together, just as they always have, children thrive—even when using “screen time.”

"When reading an e-book with your child, for example, ask questions throughout the story to put things into context."

Educational games, apps and e-books are terrific resources for helping young children learn their first words, increase their vocabulary, make connections to the world around them and fall in love with reading. These tools allow for an interactive learning experience that expands children’s knowledge and motivates them to discover new ideas and concepts in a fun and exciting way.

Pointers

When reading an e-book with your child, for example, ask questions throughout the story to put things into context. If the story is about ladybugs, ask your child to name the colors on the insect, or to count the number of dots on its shell. As the story unfolds, ask your child where the ladybug goes and what foods it eats.

If your child encounters unfamiliar words in the story, click on them together to learn their meaning and put them into perspective. This type of parent–child interaction is perfect for enhancing reading and learning skills.

Screen time should never be a replacement for face-to-face time. Adapting to the world around us and learning how to best utilize the available tools and resources expands the horizons of our children. Reading and learning can take on many forms. What’s most important is that our children have the opportunity to do so in a loving and supportive environment.