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Learning with Technology

Will my child be left behind if he doesn't use technology?

Young children don't need technology to learn. They learn best by interacting with loving caregivers and exposure to a rich variety of experiences. But educational standards are changing fast: digital literacy skills are often introduced in kindergarten, Common Core requires the use of technology, and even administrative tasks are completed online. Kids who have little to no tech experience will need to catch up to their more-experienced peers -- maybe a little, maybe a lot. There also is a chance that no-tech kids could take a hit socially, if, for example, all their friends play the same online video game that they don't know about.

That said, kids who don't have access to technology, due to poverty, lack broadband Internet, or other disadvantaged circumstances can fall behind. According to Common Sense's research report, "Zero to Eight: Children's Media Use in America," only 20 percent of lower-income children have a tablet device such as an iPad at home, compared to 63 percent of higher-income children. Only 35 percent of lower-income parents have ever downloaded apps for their kids to use, compared to 75 percent of higher-income parents. If these kids are never exposed to technology, there is a risk of adding a handicap and increasing the digital divide that already exists between higher- and lower-income groups.

Whether kids are no-tech by choice or circumstance, it's important that all kids are prepared for success in a technology-filled world. Even if you prefer a tech-light environment, you can still talk to your kids about healthy media habits, such as balancing screen time, and digital citizenship, such as being nice to people online. Starting young improves the chances that kids will carry these lessons for life. Check with your school to find out the grade-by-grade expectations for students' technology skills. Many schools can link families in need to programs that can equip them with the right tech tools.

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Teen, 16 years old written by Silverfall

While they won't really be 'left behind' I would highly encourage the use of technology as a tool for learning. Learning to be 'digitally literate' at an early age will be greatly beneficial to children down the line.
Parent of a 1-year-old written by evertborgia77

I do believe children can be raised with limited access to technology and I believe they should be raised with as much outdoor time as possible - I feel like that gives children more of an edge than technology access. Young children learn fast and a few years of technology free or technology lean environments won't hurt them in the long run as far as I'm concerned. And then, it begs the question...How early is too early for technology exposure...2 or 3? Its hard to make the choice of when to start technology exposure. Some children as young as 5 are addicted to screen time- is that an effective use of time? Not being critical, its just a thought.