Computer: Jump Start for Preschoolers

University of Maryland Researchers Find Home C...Image by University of Maryland Press Releases via FlickrComputer Time May Give Preschoolers a Jump Start


Computers are part and parcel of every student's life today. Most public schools are now equipped with computers. Plus, Internet access during school hours jumped from 35 to 95% in recent years.
But how early should children be exposed to computers? Could showing your preschooler how to work a computer help her with her homework years down the road? A new study suggests it might.

Video Games Didn't Improve Test Scores

More than 120 preschoolers took a variety of tests to assess their intelligence and their knowledge of various preschool concepts. The subjects' parents were asked if their children had access to a computer and/or an electronic video game system.
Children who used a computer at home or somewhere else did significantly better on the tests than those without computer access. But more time in front of a computer was not necessarily better. Test scores were similar for children who played on a computer once a week and those who used one once a day.
In addition, computer time did not equal video game time. Access to a video game system did not affect a child's test results.

Set Limits on Screen Time

Experts recommend that parents limit the amount of time children spend in front of any screens--computers, video games, movies, and TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics encourages parents to keep screen time to one to two hours a day for children age 2 and older.



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