Pros and Cons of Computers in Kindergarten
Research Essay Assignment
Pros and cons of using computers in kindergarten classrooms
Having computers in kindergarten classrooms could improve the level of instruction and can address long-term success in schools. The real pros and cons of using technology in the classroom create a stalemate that can prevent technology from being used more widely in the classroom. Whether we use technology with young children–and if so, how-are critical issues facing early childhood educators and parents. The questions about when children should start using computers; developmentally appropriate computer activities in preschool, kindergarten, and early primary classrooms; benefits of computer use; integration of computers into classrooms; and teacher training. As children enter kindergarten and the primary grades, it is important that they continue to have access to a computer center with a library of developmentally appropriate software.
Fun and educational computer activities allow kindergarteners to socialize improve classmate relations; learn about modern communication and problem-solving skills. Children need opportunities to make choices about some of their computer experiences. In addition, kindergarten or primary-grade teachers will want to use the computer for more directed activities that match their learning objectives. For example, to enhance language skills and using the template provided in Starfall or similar software. Children could also work in small groups using software such as Scholastic’s Magic School Bus Explores the Rainforest to compare two of the seven ecozones in the program. Using software such as Edmark’s Kids’ Desk: Internet Safe, other small groups can investigate these two ecozones on Internet Web sites selected by the teacher. The groups then merge to share their discoveries and write a report on the ecozones, illustrating each with pictures drawn by members of the group or downloaded from the Internet sites.
Through exploring computer experiences, these children build memory skills, learn how to seek out information, use knowledge until they have a clear understanding from multiple sources, and integrate their knowledge of how each ecosystem functions. In the process, they learn to delegate responsibility, interact with others, solve problems, and cooperate to reach a goal. Kindergarten children have a positive outlook and an accepting nature. They take pride in their new reading and counting skills and love to converse and share ideas. They are eager to behave well; they are trusting; and they don’t question authority. Kids at this age may be capable at using computers, i.e. following commands, using the mouse, and playing computer games (Jaeger, 2010). In order to understand the pros and cons of computers in the kindergarten classroom, we need to take a look at some of the pros and cons and the goals related to of reading the children’s achievement. Pros: By incorporating technology into lessons, students will become more engaged in and excited about the subject at hand. Lessons that would normally be tedious can be much more engaging with virtual field trips and streaming videos. Cons: Finding the right materials online to integrate into a lesson is not always easy.
This means teachers may spend a lot more time planning lessons and become overwhelmed and frustrated. Pros: Computers allow students to learn through exploring the internet and doing research. The act of looking up information and researching papers with such an extensive resource can keep students engaged in a project and learning. Cons: Some students will explore beyond the bounds and parameters of the project and become distracted by other activities that they find on the internet. Pros: In special needs classrooms, each student is able to go at his or her own pace with the help of technology. This allows the students get individual instruction directly from the computer, which allows the teacher to accomplish more while feeling less stretched.
Special needs students who are handicapped can also make use of assistive technology, which can allow them to communicate better. Cons: Special needs technology can be very expensive and take an inordinate amount of money to acquire and operate. Research has shown that children who use computers with supporting activities that reinforce the major objectives of the programs have significantly greater developmental gains when compared to children without computer experiences in similar classrooms-gains in intelligence, nonverbal skills, structural knowledge, long-term memory, manual dexterity, verbal skills, problem solving, abstraction, and conceptual skills (Haugland, 1992).
The benefits of providing computers to kindergarten and primary-grade children vary depending upon the kind of computer experiences offered and how frequently children have access to computers. The potential gains for kindergarten and primary children are tremendous, including improved motor skills, enhanced mathematical thinking, increased creativity, higher scores on tests of critical thinking and problem solving. In addition, computers enhance children’s self-concept, and children demonstrate increasing levels of spoken communication and cooperation. Children share leadership roles more frequently and develop positive attitudes toward learning.
In conclusion, early childhood programs serve diverse populations and have different schedules, curriculums, staffing patterns, resources, and so on. Goals for computer use and the steps that schools take to integrate computers into their classrooms may be completely different but equally successful. A viable beginning is for teachers, administrators, and parents to share magazine, journal, and newspaper articles they have seen regarding children using computers. The understanding of computers in the kindergarten classroom is accompanied by both a personal and professional commitment to early success for all children.
1. Jaeger, V. (2010). Parenting Resources Guide. Niagara Region Public Health 2. KidSource Online. Computers and Young Children. Retrieved from http://www.kidsource.com/education/computers.children.html#top 3. S.W. Haugland. The effect of computer software on preschool children’s developmental gains. Journal of Computing in Childhood Education, 1992.