Blog Feature

By: Jennifer Devitt on March 11th, 2014

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Kids do not use technology for just video games anymore.

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Technology. When I was a kid I did not have much everyday exposure to technology. I remember when we got archaic video game system like Pong. I also remember when we got the first "cable boxes" that had movie channels. But, technology to assist me with everyday tasks, Nah.

Today's children are exposed to technology from very early ages depending on their parents. Some experts believe children shouldn't be exposed before the age of 2 years old. That may be a wise benchmark in some instances. However, a 2-year-old boy just used technology to help his mother get medical attention. The calm, cool and collected young 2-year-old stepped in to assist his mother who was bitten by a dog when his 4-year-old sisters were freaked out by the blood on the phone. The little knight in shining armor used FaceTime to video-call a family friend to help.

Now, I am not saying that all kids under 2 years of age should be technology wizards, but it has its place. Children can use FaceTime to stay connected with parents who are deployed, Grandparents who live in a different state, etc. Children are using FaceTime to complete school group projects when parents perhaps cannot drive them to a friends house to work on it in person.

Kids can use technology to help them do research. Teenagers can use technology to help them get home in the event they are lost or their ride ditches them. They can use GPS technology to better give their exact location to their parents or they can use the same GPS technology to give them driving or even walking directions to help them get home or to a specific destination. Parents can use applications like Find Friends to locate children who are late coming home or missed a check-in.

For many kids today, when they have a device in their hands they are not playing just another video game a different generation doesn't understand. But, even if they are, chances are they are getting more out of it other than just a game. Video game systems that utilize online play modes offer kids the opportunity to play group games with their friends. With headphones attached to the console or controller kids can laugh, strategize or just chit chat with their friends like they were playing in the same room. They learn to strategize and play games as a team to conquer a map, destroy an enemy or find items on a quest.

What ways do you see the youth of today utilizing technology to assist them in everyday life? Do you wish you had these items available to you when you were a kid? I know that I wish I had online gaming as a kid. I lived far from the school my parents chose for me to attend and that meant my friends were far away too. I needed rides everywhere and that was not practical so a lot of times I was at home, out of the loop. If I had FaceTime or online gaming I could've joined my friends hanging out via technology. What age do you think is appropriate for children to be slowly introduced to media or technology?