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The Benefits of Digital Play in Early Years Learning

The Benefits of Digital Play in Early Years Learning

The Benefits of Digital Play in Early Years Learning
In today's early years learning landscape children have access to devices and content to enable multi-sensory exploration through digital play. Digital play need not be passive - it can be active, creative and collaborative. When the content, device and interactivity are purposefully designed well for their age group, digital play can support physical, cognitive and social-emotional development.   It's crucial that creators take into account the developmental needs of their audience to ensure their learning resources are effective, engaging and age appropriate. Educational materials that are too advanced or too simplistic can be frustrating and disengaging for children. Similarly, technology that is not appropriate for a child's developmental stage can be overwhelming if too difficult and tedious if too easy.  
"Technology is all around and children and educators are using tech as tools all the time. When we talk about screen-based technology, what's important for early years is that the content they are watching or interacting with has been developed for their age group." Dr Sophie Dauvois, co-founder and editor of Okido.
  Some of the benefits of including digital play in EYFS are: Physical development benefits of technology in early years learning Cognitive development benefits of using technology in early years learning Social-emotional development benefits of using technology in early years learning
From Benefits of Technology for Early Childhood Learning, Children's Museum Pittsburgh.
  Technology has revolutionised the learning landscape and will continue to do so in the future with AR (augmented reality), VR (virtual reality), biometrics and AI (artificial intelligence). While there are many benefits to including digital play in early years learning, it's important to not let it become a replacement for face-to-face interactions and hands-on learning experiences. Children benefit most from a balanced learning framework using digital play and traditional learning methods.  
"Early years children are very curious and on our digital platform, we are able to add sound, animated, and interactive visuals. Most of our digital games and stories encourage children to explore the world around them, turning the device into more of a window than just a screen!" Dr Sophie Dauvois.
  At Okido, the make/do, smell, touch, and see activities in our magazine are very important and we see digital content as part of that same discovery journey. By using Okido magazine, the World of OKIDO app and the Messy goes to OKIDO tv show* we enrich the Okido learning framework. Using physical and digital play designed specifically for 3-7-year-olds allows us to transform learning into a multisensorial and interactive experience for early years development.     *All 3 seasons of Messy goes to OKIDO are available on BBC iPlayer.  
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