How Technology Changes the Way Children Pay Attention and Think

Chil­dren have access to far more infor­ma­tion than we did grow­ing up. With just a few taps on a screen, your child is able to browse unlim­it­ed videos, pho­tos, and infor­ma­tion about almost any top­ic imag­in­able. Find­ing out how many stars are in the galaxy is a cinch with Amazon’s Alexa wait­ing for your child’s com­mand. But is all that infor­ma­tion at hand a ben­e­fit to your child’s abil­i­ty to focus, think, and learn? 

This quick guide pro­vides an overview of how tech­nol­o­gy changes the ways chil­dren obtain and process infor­ma­tion. Read on to under­stand the pros and cons, as well as the main con­sid­er­a­tions for parents.

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Children and Technology: Impacts on Thinking and Learning

How does tech­nol­o­gy affect a child’s abil­i­ty to pay atten­tion, think, and learn? 



What Parents Need to Know About Children and Technology

Though it’s appar­ent that tech­nol­o­gy is impact­ing the way chil­dren find and absorb infor­ma­tion, it’s not so clear whether the changes are bad for kids. Jim Tay­lor, Ph.D. at Psy­chol­o­gy Today believes that tech­nol­o­gy isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly mak­ing our chil­dren stu­pid, it’s teach­ing them to pay atten­tion and think in dif­fer­ent ways. 

Instead of teach­ing chil­dren to mem­o­rize and retain a lot of infor­ma­tion, tech­nol­o­gy rewards chil­dren for remem­ber­ing how to locate that infor­ma­tion, Tay­lor said. Know­ing how to research by nav­i­gat­ing end­less dis­trac­tion and less valu­able data is becom­ing more impor­tant in this Inter­net age. What’s more, not need­ing to hold all of that infor­ma­tion in the brain may help your child’s abil­i­ty to think crit­i­cal­ly or at a deep­er level.

Head on over to the Jel­lies blog for more resources about chil­dren and tech­nol­o­gy. We tack­le pop­u­lar tech par­ent­ing top­ics like The Trou­ble With Kids Video Apps and our Child’s Screen Time: Every­thing Your Need to Know.