There is no shortage of articles and think-pieces on the evils of “screen-time”.Everyone from the National Public Radio to Psychology Today are bemoaning the negative impact of our dependence on screen-based entertainment and utilities. Here at RobotLAB, we don’t dispute the research.
-Cell phone use is positively correlated with depression
-Even regular internet exposure can cause damage to a child’s brain
-Many sources advocate abstaining from screens entirely
These articles are well-meaning, and they raise awareness of a real danger for childhood development. But to a parent living in the middle of our technology saturated society, they come across as patronizing and unhelpful (at best). All the articles linked above include guidelines for promoting safe technology use, but offer very little advice for how to follow it.
So apart from moving off the grid and living in a log cabin, what is a plugged-in parent to do?
Enter tangible interaction. Introducing children to technological tools and toys that they can actually hold and manipulate can mitigate the negative effects of screen-based tools, and they do so without depriving them of the learning digital tools encourage. Tangibles like the NAO robot, LittleBits, and Cubelets encourage computational thinking and problem solving, and reduce dependence on screens to provide engaging and educational experiences.
Call or chat online with a RobotLAB representative today to learn more about adding tangible interaction to your home or classroom!