Learning and Growing in an Online World

Learning and Growing in an Online World - Playgarden Online
BY Miss Charlotte July 26, 2022

During the pandemic, you most likely had to adjust to staying at home more often, and that extends to learning! The increased time at home paired with the general rise in the use of technology in daily life can make navigating and setting boundaries for your little one’s online time more challenging than it used to be. However, technology, when used properly, is a great resource for both you and your child in building skills that they will use later in life! Preschool at home with programs like Playgarden Online can make learning at home simpler, especially with your help and knowledge of how to make technology work for you!

One of the first steps towards making your little one’s preschool at home experience as intentional and educational as possible comes with considering what education specialists refer to as “The Three C’s”: the content, the context and the child! These categories are put into place for you to be able to determine how much or how little screen time your toddler should have.

Content refers to the “what”; by asking yourself, “What is my child doing, and how will it help them to grow, imagine, express and learn?”, you can gain an idea of how helpful (or not) your child’s screen activities are to their education as young people! If you’re considering preschool at home programs, observe how the technology is being used in relation to other learning tools, such as books, art projects, writing materials and play items. Context touches on the “where” and “when” of your child’s screen time. When you observe them as they engage with technology, take note of who they interact with before, during and after their use of technology. This will help you determine whether or not the content they consume is beneficial towards their experiences and natural play. Finally, the “who”! Your child is unique in their needs and abilities, and it’s key to factor into your decision what you know about your child and their development. Nobody knows your little one quite like you!

When considering the content your child consumes through technological mediums, there’s a lot to consider. One of the most important of these considerations is whether or not your child’s use of technology is active or passive. Active use occurs when your toddler is able to use technology as a bridge towards meaningful, intentional learning experiences. Virtual preschool programs that encourage a young one to record their own music, share stories through pictures and drawings or communicate with those around them allow a child to be deeply engaged. Passive use occurs when a child is consuming or absorbing content, usually by way of watching videos or television without any kind of stimulation, engagement or reflection on what they have consumed. No matter which form of interaction your little one is having with technology, though, it’s crucial to remember your own significance in ensuring that their learning experience is a meritorious one! Co-viewing can be a great tool for you to use to make sure that the engagement occurring between your toddler and technology is both intentional and guiding towards deeper learning.

Another trick to having technology help with outside engagement is to take away from the sedentary nature of it! Too often we get stuck sitting or lying down when using our devices. Taking movement and movement classes together with your child and using apps to explore nature are all great examples of how to expand your use of technology and to put forth screen time into having meaningful learning experiences with your little one.

There are, of course, gray areas with items such as e-books; though the many tools often available with e-books, such as interactive features, highlightable words and the like, can provide a toddler with learning experiences, they can also be incredibly distracting from the purpose of the reading itself. Studies show, though, that whether you prefer to use virtual books or physical copies, it is your involvement in your little one’s reading that proves most effective for their learning! Children retain content much better when you’re available to help them look, point out words and ask questions, no matter the medium.

Preschool at home is a fantastic way to encourage learning from a safe home environment! It is important to note that virtual preschool programs should be a part of your child’s education, but not its entirety. Research shows that when young children use technology as a learning tool, it is best for it to be a supplement to real world interactions. With this in mind, scientists generally recommend about an hour total of screen time for young children divided amongst their time learning and their leisure time. Putting a greater emphasis on play and interaction outside the technological sphere, like Playgarden Online’s preschool at home program, can make certain that your child is able to use technology more as a stepping stool towards learning rather than as something to be totally dependent on.

Try Our Online Preschool for FREE! Playgarden Prep offers numerous educational videos from real teachers, and numerous DIY projects that support early learning and development


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Miss Charlotte Pencil

Hi, I'm Miss Charlotte!

Miss Charlotte is an Education Director by trade, and a mom by heart. All 200+ of our DIY projects were created by Miss Charlotte, with the help of her expert DIY assistant—Her 4 year old daughter! With a MST degree in Early Childhood Education and 15 years of teaching experience, her blogs and DIY projects have been an incredible resource for our Playgarden Prep schools. We hope that your family loves them as much as we do!

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