It might be surprising to some to realise that a debate over computer technology in preschool even exists. Many adults have fond (or not so fond) memories of blocks, dolls and playing outside during their preschool days. Today, though, computers are everywhere, and preschool is no exception.
Other People Are Reading
Some parents and educators are interested in computer technology in preschools because so much of the educational system and workforce are dependent on computers these days. Not that preschoolers are using the higher functions of computers, but, the reasoning goes, why shouldn't they get used to using computers at the same time they are getting acclimated to other aspects of the school environment, such as socialisation and following directions?
Learning While Playing
Besides learning how to use the equipment, there's a lot more that computer technology teaches preschoolers. There are lots of different educational games on a variety of subjects, and preschoolers can increase their language and literacy skills, spatial and mathematical reasoning and subject knowledge in a way that often feels effortless.
Expense of Computer Technology
One of the major disadvantages of computer technology in preschool is that it is so expensive. Money that's spent on computers results in either increased tuition or a reduction in other resources such as teaching personnel, training, special programmes or other classroom supplies. However, the programmes that preschoolers spend their time on do not require the latest and greatest technology so you can actually get away with using older/cheaper computers.
Limited Attention Spans
Small children have naturally short attention spans, but concerns have been raised that early exposure to computers could make them even shorter. Computer games generally move at a very fast pace (and can be controlled by the player) unlike many things in the non-virtual world. It's possible that too much focus on computer games makes it harder for kids to concentrate on things that aren't as flashy, like books.
The Digital Divide
Some parents and educators are concerned about a concept called "the digital divide," which is the growing inequality between kids (and adults) who know how to use technology and those who don't. The argument is not that anyone should have limits placed on their potential, but that we should make sure that all young children have access to stimulating environments and capable guides before worrying about whether they should learn to type before kindergarten.