Previous studies have determined that early exposure to technology by preschoolers has both positive and negative effects on development. The purpose of this qualitative case study was to identify these effects and approaches that caregivers can take to support the enhancement and positive interactions with technological devices, while also safeguarding the young learners from not only external threats while online but for physical and social risks as well. A sample of 25 participants, 15 family members, and 10 educators were drawn from the population of a private early childhood education center in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA. Semi-structured interviews took place, and data was coded into three themes: a) positive effects, (b) adverse effects, and (c) role of the parent or caregiver. The present study concluded that the introduction of technology to young children has equal positive and negative effects on the learning styles and the social development of children. The positive effects were (a) the ability to learn about other cultures and practices different than their immediate environment, and (b) the preparation for a culture that is becoming more and more dependent on technology. The negative effects on the young child were (a) lack of social skills needed to interact with others, and (b) obesity due to a sedentary lifestyle associated with solitary indoor play. Future studies may consider replicating these findings with a larger sample of experts to provide greater validity. Future studies may address the significance of each effect to build an efficient, impactful curriculum for young children.
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|Commitee:||Pucci, Thomas, Vance, Joanna|
|Department:||School of Education|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/6(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Early childhood education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Negative physical effects, Parental role, Social awareness, Special needs, Technology|
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