Before becoming a mum, I was a strong advocate of technology for children in the classroom and trialled many resources for my school, such as 'voters', iPads and viewers.
But is there too much technology available to our children now? Has becoming a mum changed my opinion?
In short, no. I haven't changed my opinion because I have become a mum - if anything, it has strengthened my view that technology is key to my child's future.
Smartphones, and other forms of technology such as tablets, have great educational potential. They provide rapid access to the world's knowledge in your hand and are a gateway to multiple forms of communication which is the bedrock on which society operates. Remember that the ability to communicate has a strong correlation with intelligence, leadership and creativity - these are all perceived as the necessary skills to be successful in life. After all, aren't these traits what all employers and universities ask for now in their application processes?
I completely agree that children should not be handed an iPhone and left to it. Safety and security measures are paramount, and ensuring they fully understand the benefits and dangers of the internet is of the utmost importance.
However, our children are the next generation. Most of the jobs they will have, haven't even been created yet; we're preparing them for a future unknown. It would be wrong to limit our children technologically, when their lives will be surrounded by it. For example, by the time my baby boy is in school children may no longer be using paper and pen for all their lessons - they might have tablets instead. Should we put our children on the 'back foot' simply because we're afraid of something?
Health and fitness is a key argument against the increased amount of technology our children have access to. I am in full support that our children should not be shut up in their bedrooms, glued to a screen. But, surely the balance between technology, crafts, outdoor play and sports is down to the parents to manage? We should all be able to carve out a varied routine with our children so that they grow to be rounded individuals, with multiple interests. It is only down to you if your child becomes tech-obsessed.
At almost 4 months, Jake is already showing interests in our iPhones, iPad and TV. The bright colours, music and sounds are all stimulating. I am not against letting him have access to them. It is controlled and under our supervision and only for a short time (e.g. A nursery rhyme on YouTube while we change his nappy). I think it's important he is comfortable with technology and not afraid of it, as so many of us are.
I'd be really interested in your opinions. Do you think there's too much technology now for children, or is it right that we encourage our little ones to become familiar with the technology of the day?