Written by: Director of Program Development, Carmen Leung
In the midst of the epidemic, there is a wide range of educational animations or online children’s programs for parents to choose from. Many parents also download different tablet apps for their children to use in the hope that they can learn through interactive or interesting images and sounds. Which animations and apps are good for children’s learning? What should parents pay attention to when using multimedia to help their children learn?
Time to use e-learning according to age
In early childhood, as the brain area responsible for coordinating the five senses is developing rapidly, I do not recommend children aged 0 to 2 years old to rely too much on TV or tablet computers for learning. This is because the images on the TV or tablet are flashing at a very high frequency, and children’s eyes and brains will unconsciously receive stimulation continuously, and over time, visual stimulation will become a habit, and brain development will be affected, resulting in reduced concentration.
Some parents say, “My child is very attentive when watching TV and playing with iPhone, but not when reading books, so I buy a lot of learning animations for her to watch. Have parents ever thought that if the eyes and brain are accustomed to constant stimulation, relatively static things such as books and teachers’ explanations will naturally become uninteresting, if you continue to let young children rely on rich images to learn, what to do if one day in the future they will need to face books?
Since the brain of children over 2 years old is more mature, parents can let children over 2 years old use TV and computer to learn in a limited way. The time should be no more than 15 minutes a day as a starting point, and older children can watch a little more. As children grow older, the high-frequency flicker of the computer or TV will have a relatively lesser impact on brain development.
Multi-learning mode is recommended
Although displays have an effect on children’s attention span, I do not believe that using TV and computers for learning is undesirable. Multimedia or computer programs can make learning more interesting and interactive, so that children can enjoy learning more and learn more quickly. However, in addition to using interactive multimedia for learning, children also need to adapt to other less interactive learning modes, such as books and one-way lectures, and find the fun in learning.
Parents should provide their children with a variety of learning channels, such as taking them to the library, playing educational games with them, visiting museums, going for walks on nature education trails, or even teaching them to read the English menu at restaurants, etc., so that they can try different learning modes and methods to find the joy of learning.