Babies today are growing up playing with pixels instead of traditional building blocks. According to new research, more than ⅓ of babies are learning to tap and swipe on smartphones or tablets before they are even able to walk or talk. By the age of two, the majority of kids are already actively using digital devices: watching tv and playing games for at least an hour per day.
On one hand, we know that this excessive technology usage can lead to some cognitive development pitfalls, but there are some benefits as well. Although babies learn best through physical interactions, educational technologies could help deliver more accessible learning programs to kids who need them. The key to these programs, as with all other online applications, is to limit screen time. Human interaction is crucial for language development, social/emotional learning and critical thinking and the use of online programs should compliment these real life experiences for kids. Too much screen time can lead to sleep issues, childhood obesity, and can take away from these invaluable active experiences with others.