Is Play Changing in Early Childhood Settings?

Due to the increase in technology and its incorporation into the classrooms, one has to begin to think about what kind of play children will take part in. Will they still have the option to engage in physical, outdoor play or will technological play on devices control them entirely?

This is one of the main questions that is going to be coming around in a lot of early childhood education settings. Majority if not all early childhood setting are all play-based and should be so that the children have the opportunity to learn from their play. The one questions that I have in mind is is there a way for educators to incorporate a play-based environment by still using technology in the classroom?  Now there is a gap between traditional play and then play using technology, however, this gap lets us see that we need a specific type of perspective that shows us how digital play can be incorporated into classrooms and not comparing and contrasting digital and natural play  (Edwards, 2013).

outdoorplay

Now, the featured image is one of a book cover called Goodnight IPAD. This is just to show that now in this day and age technology is becoming more and more prevalent in our everyday life, which in turn means that there is no need to compare technology and anything else, in this case technology and natural outdoor play. There will always be arguments as to which type of play is seen as more beneficial for children however, if we stop focusing on comparing these two and focus more on how both of the two mediums can work together we can allow for children to learn and experience something new. Yes, it is good for children to go outside and have that fresh air during their outdoor play block but there is also benefit of having technology involved in their play as well. An educator can allow the child to take pictures of what they saw outside and they can reflect inside the classroom as to what it is was seen. So you are using both forms of play and not choosing one over the other. The use of play in technology though sometimes is necessary as it would allow a child to learn some things that they may have never learned before. Simply speaking you should still take the time as an educator to allow children to go outdoors and have them explore their world but at the same time let them capture it from their point of view by having them take pictures of stuff they may see. Allow for technology to compliment the natural outdoor play, but still give the children some time to explore play through using digital technology as well. Our job as educators is to give them the best of both worlds so that they may still engage in physical play and let them experience digital play but not have one overpower the other and give preference to one over the others.

References:

Edwards, S. (2013). Digital play in the early years: a contextual response to the problem of integrating technologies and play-based pedagogies in the early childhood curriculum. European early childhood education research journal, 21(2), 199-212.

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3 thoughts on “Is Play Changing in Early Childhood Settings?

  1. Outdoor play and technology are too very different aspects of children’s play, however as stated in this post, they are both incredibly important and beneficial for children’s development. Reading this post helped me understand the two sides of these types of play and how they can be used together to create a more interactive learning experience for child in early childhood settings. Suggesting that children take photos of what they saw/did outside and reflect on it in the classroom is a great way to combine both nature and technology.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great blog post, Lubomyr! I actually agree with you on this. It is good that we have a balance between outdoor/physical play and as well as using technology for fun. I still remember the days when I used to play outside a lot then going home to watch a TV. I’m quite convinced it was a bit balanced. Both types of play are beneficial for children and parents must also be aware of having too much screen-time exposure. Overall, you made a really good point!

    Liked by 1 person

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