The first step in learning is making sure you understand what you’re learning, according to a new report.
In a study released Tuesday, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NIESEM) examined how children aged 0 to 3 years across the United States learn from a wide variety of educational materials, including textbooks, apps, video games, and even podcasts.
The report found that preschoolers aged 0-3 years are spending an average of 4 hours a day learning from the internet.
Thats a lot of time, which may lead to poorer grades and learning difficulties later on.
“If a child spends four hours a week on a computer or video game, that child is spending an hour or more each day learning,” the report states.
“We need to think of learning as a continuum, rather than a linear learning path.”
The NIESEM said that preschool teachers need to be prepared for preschoolers’ unique learning styles, so that teachers can offer them appropriate instruction in a way that is consistent with their childrens’ interests and developmental stages.
“A preschool teacher should understand the nature of their role, and be prepared to teach preschoolers in ways that match their needs,” the group wrote in its report.
It’s not just the internet, though.
Kids who live in the city also have access to apps like WeChat, an online messaging app that was launched in China in 2013 and has since become the fastest growing social media platform in the world.
“Apps like Wechat offer an easy way for parents and educators to share their children’s interests, and allow parents and teachers to communicate directly with their students,” the NIESE said.
In fact, many of the apps that were tested in the study had been created in China.
“We tested these apps on a broad range of preschoolers from kindergarten through third grade,” the study noted.
“The results of these tests suggest that, for some children, the most effective way to teach children about digital technologies is to use apps.”
The report also found that the number of preschool teachers who had graduated from college had decreased, while the number that were employed increased.