Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Technology and children today

The recent introduction of ebooks into our library has made me think about technology and the impact ( positive or negative) it is having/will have on the young children of today. I'm a bit of a fence sitter on this one. One on hand I think it's amazing that children can pick up how to work new devices so speedily but I also think you should let kids be kids and use their imagination.

It is amazing how fast technology evolves and changes. It's not that long ago that massive, bulky computers were introduced and now we have interactive televisions (as seen on the advertisement for the latest Samsung TV). It literally blew my mind!
 I've grown up with technology but sometimes my brain just can't handle how often and how fast the technology changes. I remember being at primary school and using a computer for the first time. It was white and had one whole game on it! I'm only 20 and I can remember life without technology. I think this shows how many advances have been made in this area.

Some people are concerned that children using devices like cellphone and iPads too frequently could affect their development. I'm sure there are some health issues that could come with excessive use but at the same time there is a positive side too. It can aid with development, rather than stunting it. I cracked up a few weeks ago when my cousins 3 year old picked up my iPhone, swiped his finger along the screen to unlock it, went to 'Photos' and scrolled through to see if there were any of him! I swear I had never shown him this before! They are at an age where they are learning new skills at an incredible rate- it's no wonder using technology comes to easily to them.

As a librarian, I'm thinking about how we can incorporate the knowledge of technology that these children will have and use it in our libraries in a way that they will appreciate. I think it's pretty exciting that we literally have the world at our fingertips wherever we are- lets utilise that any way we can.

I think technology is part of our lives now and we have to come to grips with the fact that children today are growing up in a very different world. I believe we should embrace technology and have fun with it!

I'd love to hear any comments or feedback here or tweet me @JuliadeRuiter,

Have a great rest of the week :)



  1. Lovely post, Julia. I had a similar experience with my 3 year old mokopuna, so it is definitely out there. Of course, we operate in this parralel universe of dinosaurs/technophobes and the digital natives and how this will impact on library design - allowing the library to be a space and not a place. Have some sypathy for us oldies - when I did my Library Studies, in 1974, the University had ONE computer, in a dust free building and we had to programme it, using perforated cards. :)

  2. Thanks Philip :) Sometimes I do forget how much of a gap there is- I'll try to be more understanding of you 'oldies'!