For the online learning world


Technology as part of every day life

This morning I showed my almost three year old son a video online of what Daddy was going to do to fix the car window.

This led to my son choosing other interesting videos on fixing things on the car, from cleaning headlights to changing the tyre. For him, if you want to see something you just look at a video on a laptop, tablet or phone.

It does leave me wondering what growing up will be like for his generation. Everyone knows toddlers ask lots of questions, but with the aid of a digital device we are able to help him explore his questions further than just a talk, extending to visualising and being able to refine his questions and focus in more on the things that really interest him.

Our toddler watches movies about trains (steam, diesel, electric), how engines work, animals (what do you they eat, what noises do they make), solar system (he also looks at maps, talks about earth, the moon and the day star), among other things. We see what he is learning and thinking about in how he acts things out in his imaginative play.

As his parents, we have many conversations about how much technology is appropriate, where to put limits like time online, but so far we seem to be feeling fairly comfortable with the balance in our house.

I’m really looking forward to seeing how technology influences his learning and desires in the future.

Latest posts by Tabitha Parker (see all)

Tabitha Parker

I have been working with Stuart and HRDNZ for 10 years, and currently working as an Instructional Designer for Waitemata District Health Board. I setup a testing community for the One Laptop Per Child project in 2009. I am a founding member of the Manaiakalani hackers, supporting an elearning and literacy strategy across lots of schools in the Tamaki region as part of the Tamaki Transformation Programme. I am an advocate for Moodle and have been involved in organising the Moodlemoots in New Zealand, speaking and attending moots around the world.

One thought on “Technology as part of every day life

  • Well, my 4 month old daughter isn’t there yet, but is transfixed by the television if it’s on – such rich audio and visual stimulation is hard to ignore.

    I d worry that the skills we develop from reading, and playing in our imagination will be less so for a generation who grow up with video everywhere. I have a friend, who shall remain nameless, who says if he wants to learn anything, he looks at a movie on YouTube. This worries me on so many levels. Possibly the most troubling is that he doesn’t realise at all the level of learning that is taking place, or rather the deeper level of learning that could be taking place. I worry that ‘instant’ learning, could replace ‘deep’ learning. That watching will replace thinking.

    There’s no doubting that technology can enhance our life, and our children’s lives.
    But going the easy and instant root is a bit like cooking.
    you definitely get a healthier and more nutritious meal that is better for in the longer term if you cook yourself, but the McDonalds is so easy and everywhere…


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