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Brain Development and The Impact of Technology

Presenter: Dr. Kelly Dean Schwartz

Without much debate, technology – iPads, smart phones, gaming systems, computers – is the fabric that clothes the hands, desks, and bedrooms of our children. While there is a growing literature on the use and effects of technology on the development of school-age children and adolescents, less is known about how and why technology impacts the development – and particularly brain development – of children under the age of five. This presentation will focus on discussing the most recent theory and research related to critical periods of early brain development, how early technology use can positively and negatively impact brain development and function, and the implications for early childhood learning (e.g., attention), emotion (e.g., emotional regulation), and social (e.g., peer/parent relationships) development. Discussion will focus on how parents, educators, and communities can positively model and shape technology use and understanding during early childhood.

Keywords: Brain, Brain Development, Technology, Technology impact, Internet, Computer, Television, Social Networking