Article Review

ArticleReview

TheInfluence of Young Children’s Use of Technology on Their Learning:

AReview

Ching-TingHsin,Ming-Chaun Li,andChin-Chung Tsai (2014)

ArticleSummary

Inthis study, the authors carried out a systematic literature review onempirical studies of how technologies influence learning among youngchildren. Using the web of science database, the researchers reviewed87 articles published between 2003 and 2013 to determine the effectof technology in learning. However,the method chosen for the analysis is doubtful. By only reviewingrelated articles and not conducting independent research, thereliability of the inferences is questionable. Inthis study, young children refer to children between 0 to 8 years. Anissue of concern, however, is that not all articles reviewed in thestudy focused on children in that age bracket. They argue thatcontemporary young children live in a world surrounded bytechnologies, they start using technology in their early life, andhence their learning is influenced by technology.

Theresearch addresses the impact of technology on children’s learningand investigates the role of adults in helping children incorporatetechnology. However, it is difficult to confirm whether all thearticles reviewed addressed the specific research purposes. With 87articles to consider, arriving at objective conclusions was certainlyunrealistic for the authors. The study reveals that the followingfactors determine the effect of technology in learning: the age ofchildren, prior experience with technology, gender and time spentexploring technology. Concerning age, the research concludes thatolder children outperform younger children when incorporatingtechnology in learning.

Childrenthat have access to technologies at home such as computers havegreater knowledge on how to utilize them. The study showed thatchildren that had prior knowledge perform better after using thetechnology. The reviewed studies showed that children with access tocomputers at home performed better in reading, cognitive development,math, and computer-esteem and skills. There were variations in theeffects of technology in girls and boys. Some studies showed thatgirls perform better when integrating technology in learning whileothers showed that boys had a better performance. Adults have acrucial role to play in incorporating technology in children theresearch showed that children learn to utilize technology better whenadults provide them with a safe climate and encourage them to exploretheir technological tools. Nonetheless, the authors usedexperimental, quasi-experimental and case study method to investigatethis relationship the utilization of diverse methodologies couldlead to inconsistencies.

Inmy opinion, the effects of technology on children`s learning arecomplicated, with both advantages and disadvantages. The article isbiased towards the advantages of technological intervention inchildren’s learning. Moreover, the authors did not give an accuratedescription of the experimental methods used. Whether the technologyis harmful to a child or not depends on the specific technology inquestion, the manner of use as well as the frequency of use.Technology conditions the brain to pay attention in different wayscompared to traditional methods of learning. For example, whenreading information from websites, one is distracted byadvertisements and other side stories.

Traditionalmethods of learning are better in helping children developproblem-solving skills, become critical thinkers, retain morevocabulary and develop better reflection abilities. For example,research shows that the use of internet impedes imagination andconsistent attention. On the contrary, some research shows that useof video games and other screen media can help improve the visual andspatial capabilities in children. Additionally, they help increasethe capacity to identify detail and reduce reaction time. However,total elimination of traditional ways of learning will lead to thedevelopment of children who will be poor at knowing, processing andremembering information. Overutilization of technology discouragescreativity and the independence of mind.