• Sally Dancy

Let’s talk Virtual

Updated: Apr 12

As the quarantines tightens, we are all faced with a digital world being our only option for social interaction outside the family unit. For early childhood circles this has created a dilemma. Because a lot of research has been suggesting screen time is not good for littles. Although I worry about screen time, I am not anti technology. In fact my family is full of tech happy boys/men who build their own computers and eagerly await the next newest gadget or programs to play with. So I openly wondered what about the tech is not compatible for the young brain? The answer it turns out may not be the tech itself but instead what tech lacks. Some scientists and early childhood educators have been wondering if it is the lack of important processes that young brains need to learn that is the problem... the lack of eye contact and other interpersonal social interaction, the lack of full sensory involvement (and over stimulation of one sense), the lack of 3 D movement of both fine motor (hands) and gross motor (bodies), and finally the complex interaction & integration of these 3. Because as good as tech has become most lack all of these. This situation we all find ourselves is giving us the opportunity to see if there is a way to overcome these deficiencies. And the answer may have been looking us in the ‘FaceTime’ all along. The advent of FaceTime calls and conferences have been game changers for relationship connections— just ask anyone with long distance relationships (whether military TDY, cross country parent, out of state college student). It allows for eye contact, body language, gesturing all in connection with auditory stimulation. Even 3 D movement and coordination Can be achieved with alittle creativity In face to face digital communication. And if there is more than one person on each end (like a parent and child or family) some interpersonal touch is also possible. So we are finding that the video conferencing we have available to us may be a positive resource especially during this time when in-person can be dangerous for the community. Below I have attached an article about some new scientific studies that have been done with babies and face to face tech communication. These findings are encouraging. And support our efforts to go virtual during these extraordinary times.

https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/10/03/496362094/could-video-chats-be-good-for-your-infant



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