Sunday, May 15, 2011

Technology can not replace human interaction (From LRS)

baby laptopAs adults, we rely on technology to help make our lives a little bit easier and sometimes we might be inclined to feel like the earlier in life our children have a grasp of technology the better off they will be. However, many thoughtful parents are weary of trusting their child’s developing minds to technologies meant to “enhance” the infant learning process.
The attached article and accompanying video is a remarkable account of the mind of child at a very early age and the role that technology plays in their life. This could potentially answer the questions originally posed by Dr. Jane M. Healy in her book, Endangered Minds, about how exactly a human child’s mind interacts with a, “machine mind” of a computer.
Remarkably, these scientists found that not only does the mind of an infant younger than 8 months have an incredible ability to decipher the differences and nuances in different languages, but that there is also a tremendous value to where the information comes from, be it a computer or a real human being. It turns out that when certain specific and identical information is presented to an infant from a computer instead of from another human being, the child absorbs NOTHING from the machine, but when that information comes from a human being, the child has the incredible capacity to comprehend language completely foreign to them. This proves that human interaction with children since they are born helps to a natural and regular development of a child brain.
When parents have to search for a caregiver to be with their children, they should have very present that the way that this person talks and interacts with the child will have a very important impact in the life of the child. This is why providing your child with exceptional childcare from informed and educated professionals is one of the most important investments you can make for the life of your child. Education at any age is not a luxury it is an essential need. Please make sure to watch the video on the page as well.
If Babies Can’t Learn Through Videos, Can Students?
It’s time for more ‘systems thinking’ about technology in education.
Babies are geniuses when it comes to learning languages. They don’t even have to try. All they need is exposure. But it turns out that when that exposure happens through a screen, these infant savants fail.
If babies can’t learn a language—something their brains do automatically—when technology is in the way or when the human touch is missing, that says a lot about what we don’t know when it comes to learning and technology.
I’m all for teaching students how to use technology and integrating software and hardwareright into the classroom when it works. But it doesn’t always work. Or more fittingly, it doesn’t work equally for all kinds of students in different circumstances, just as learning a language doesn’t work the same for young children as it does for adults.
The Limits of Technology’s Usefulness
A TED talk video posted today called “The linguistic genius of babies” exposed research that showed babies learn language through contact with real humans, but not through televisionscreens and audio recordings.
Patricia Kuhl, co-director of the Institute for Brain and Learning Sciences at the University of Washington, shared some of the results of her research in the talk, which was recorded in October 2010 in Seattle, Washington, at TEDx Rainer. Infants between six months and one year old were taught how to pronounce Mandarin sounds through either audio, videos of real people with sound, or live human interaction. The babies’ ability to reproduce the sounds increased with time only when they were taught in the face-to-face setting. Babies who learned through video and audio got worse. (For more details on the methodology and experiment, see the video.)
Kuhl’s findings should remind us of the limitations of technology in learning—or at least to remember that it has plenty of advantages and disadvantages in certain situations and with certain kinds of people.
At a time when governments, non-profit organizations, and private industry are investing heavily in technology for learning and communication, from distance education to virtual business meetings, Kuhl’s talk, for me, is a slightly unnerving reality check.
Full article at pcmag.comFull article at
Post by: Magdalena S. Palencia

Friday, May 13, 2011

Celebrando San Valentin durante todo el año

Decirle a alguien que lo queremos con un regalo o aún con una tarjeta es una muestra de nuestro afecto. Cuando nos preparamos para celebrar la amistad y reconocer a las personas cercanas es una buena oportunidad para detenernos un poco y pensar en muchas otras formas quizá no tan convencionales de expresar nuestro cariño.
Desde que decidimos formar una familia, nuestros sentimientos afloran de diferentes formas, cuidándonos durante el embarazo es una forma de decirle a nuestro hijo cuanto lo queremos. Recientes estudios confirman una vez más científicamente, la importancia de la buena alimentación de la madre durante el periodo de gestación. Ya una vez nacido nuestro hijo entablando un simple dialogo durante las actividades como alimentarlo, cambiarle de pañales o bañarlo son otras formas de decirle cuánto lo queremos.

Hablándole a nuestro hijo como lo hacemos a otra persona, con el mismo tono de voz, con mensajes cortos, claros y lógicos, es otra forma de respetarlo y quererlo. Cada niño tiene su propia forma de aprender, cada uno necesita su tiempo y lugar para procesar la información, respetando esos tiempos estamos mostrándoles nuestra aceptación como persona.

De la misma manera el desarrollo físico de cada niño tiene su propio tiempo. Cada uno se sienta, camina o se mueve cuando está listo para hacerlo. Respetando las diferentes etapas que implican su crecimiento también es una forma de mostrar nuestro cariño,

Los padres, son las primeras personas con las que el niño tiene contacto. Cuando la relación de los padres con el niño, entre ellos y con las demás personas es de respeto los padres están enseñando con el ejemplo.

Igualmente durante las diferentes situaciones que se presentan en la vida en común hay innumerables ocasiones de demostrar respeto y cariño. Como por ejemplo recoger al niño de la escuela a tiempo, es respetarlo y mostrarle que es importante respetar el tiempo de los demás Conocer sus amigos, interesarse por sus inquietudes y escucharlos sin interrumpirlos forman parte de enseñarles respeto con el ejemplo.

Respeto y cariño van mano a mano en la educación de nuestros hijos, decirles cuánto los queremos frecuentemente es hermoso , escribirlo en una tarjeta o carta convierte esos sentimientos en recuerdos inolvidables, pero mostrando nuestro respeto con el ejemplo es quizás la mejor forma de educar personas, felices, seguras y capaces.

Celebrating St. Valentines Day Year-Round (From LRS)

Around Valentines day children traditionally express their love for classmates and friends through cards and presents. As parents we can take advantage of this ” Hallmark Holiday” to stop for a second and think about the different ways that there are to show love for one another and how we can best teach our children to show their affection for loved ones.
The unique experience of starting a family comes with a myriad of emotions. While it might at first seem unreasonable to begin to show love to your child before they are even born, the simple taks of doing your very best to take care of your body is it’s self an expression of love. Studies continue to point out the major role that a proper diet plays during pregnancy. Maintaining good eating habits and making your child the first priority in your life from the pregnancy stage is the first demonstration of love that the child will experience in their life.
Once the child is born, having a simple communication when it is time to feed, change their diapers and even bathing are another ways to tell the child how much we love them.
Talking to the child in the same way that we talk to another person, with the same tone, using clear, short and logical messages shows our love and respect for them. Each child has their own way of learning and processing information. Each individual child requires different amounts of space and time to reach the various milestones of development. By recognizing these differences and being patient with their unique needs, parents are demonstrating how to value and appreciate people who are different. This is how we begin to model to our children a positive attitude towards those who are different for them and thus, instill in them love and tolerance when they come across people of all walks of life.
The first person that the child has contact with is their parents. When they interact with the child and with each other, they are teaching the child respect by example. There are many ways to show that respect to a child, one such way is picking them up from school on time, knowing their friends and listening to them without interruption when they have something to say.
Love and respect go hand in hand when it comes to the education of our children. Telling them how much we love them every day is wonderful, writing those feelings in a card or a letter turns those feelings into unforgettable memories. Respecting others is maybe the best way to educate confident, happy, trustful and loving persons.
Post by Magdalena S. Palencia

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

La Influencia Permanente del Cuidado Infatil (From LRS)

De acuerdo con el Foro de Estadísticas para Familias y niños aproximadamente el 60% de los chicos menores de 6 años están inscriptos en centros de cuidado infantil, o estan bajo el cuidado de una profesional en su casa
Los programas de estos centros deben considerar las necesidades sociales, emocionales y físicas, así como el desarrollo intelectual y lingüístico de los chicos.

La forma en que la educadora se comunique con el niño determina, en gran parte, que las necesidades de éste sean satisfechas.
Considerando estas estadísticas, algunos chicos pasan la mayor parte del tiempo bajo la atención de profesionales ya sea en su casa o en centros para cuidado de niños Teniendo presente esta información no hay que perder de vista el impacto, que a largo plazo, la educadora tiene en la vida del niño.
Cuando se busca contratar a una persona para este trabajo debemos buscar a alguien que respete a nuestro hijo de la misma forma que nosotros lo hacemos. Es muy importante estar seguros que hay una especial conección entre el niño y la educadora.
La calidad en el cuidado del niño debe estar basada en el criterio de una buena interacción entre el niño y la educadora.
La relación entre la profesional y su hijo contribuye en alto grado al desarrollo emocional del niño, lo cual afectará al chico a lo largo de toda su vida.
La inteacción entre la educadora y el niño es tan importante para el desarrollo de las habilidades sociales como para el proceso de aprendizaje del niño.
Ignorar al chico, sentandolo frente al televisor por largos periodos de tiempo, es algo que la educadora no debe hacer en ninguna circunstancia.
Estudios de investigación han demostrado que las interacciones entre seres humanos tienen un profundo efecto en el desarrollo neurológico de los niños
Usualmente los padres son los encargado del cuidado de sus niños. Cuando una nueva persona va a empezar a ser parte de la vida del niño debemos considerar un tiempo de transición. Es recomendable la presencia de los padres durante los primeros encuentros entre la educadora y el niño. La persona elegida debe ser capaz de interactuar con el niño como con cualquier otro ser humano. Estas interacciones deben tener lugar en un ambiente cálido y relajado,contribuyendo así al desarrollo intelectual y emocional del niño.
Las mejores oportunidades para crear este ambiente y propiciar la relación es a través de las rutinas diarias, en las que el niño participa directamente, así como las interacciones que el chico observa por si mismo.Cuando los padres son respetuosos con todas las personas con las que están en contacto (familiares, amigos, educadora) están enseñándole respeto al niño a traves del ejemplo.
El proceso de elegir la educadora adecuada puede ser largo y tedioso y requiere una minuciosa búsqueda además de estrecha colaboración entre los padres y la persona escogida.
Es recomendable que la educadora sea presentada al niño después de haber completado el proceso de búsqueda, ya que cambiar de educadora frecuentemente puede traer confusión al niño y a la familia.
Una vez he que se ha tomado la decisión acerca de quién va a ser la persona que estará con sus hijos, los padres deben considerar la opinión de su hijo, quien va a ser la persona más afectada por la habilidad que tenga o no la educadora para relacionarse con el niño y asistirlo con sus necesidades.
De acuerdo con estudios de investigación esta influencia puede afectar a nivel neurológico al niño. Es por esto que escoger la educadora adecuada para su hijo es una decisión que debe tomarse muy seriamente.
Nuestras relaciones sociales hasta juegan el papel de remodelar nuestro cerebro a traves de la “neuroplasticidad” lo que significa que repetidas experiencias influyen en la forma, tamaño y número de neuronas y las conecciones sinapticas. Repitiendo información registrada nuestras relaciones claves pueden gradualmente moldear el circuito de las neuronas. En efecto, ser crónicamente lastimado o agredido o ser nutrido emocionalmente por alguien con quien pasamos la mayor parte del día , a través de los años, puede modificar nuestro cerebro” – Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.
Brazelton, T. Berry Ph.D, The Irreducible Needs of the Children
Goleman, Daniel, Ph.D., Social Intelligence
Jones, Elizabeth & Prescott, Elizabeth. Dimensions of Teaching/II.  Focus on Day Care
Konner, Melvin, The Evolution of Childhood

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Lasting Effect of Caregivers (From LRS)

According to the Forum on Child and Family Statistics  approximately  sixty percent of children under the age of  six were enrolled in some type of child-care program in 2010.
Child-care programs must meet the social, emotional, physical, cognitive and language developmental needs of children. The ways in which a caregiver communicates and interacts with children determines, in large part, how well a program meets those needs.
Considering these statistics some children will spend majority of their time in the care of secondary attachment figure in a center or at home. With this information, it is essential to take into account the lasting impact caregivers have on the lives of our children. When hiring a caregiver it is necessary to find a person that will respect our children in the same manner we do.   It is especially important to make certain there is a real connection between your child and the caregiver.  The measure of quality in care-giving should be based on the concept of goodness of fit for each individual child.  The relationship between the carer and your child contributes in a great degree to their emotional development, which, will affect a child throughout their entire life.
How does a parent accomplish the  difficult task of finding the right caregiver/child fit? How can we make certain that the person hired is the right person?
Caregiver -to-child interaction is as much an exercise in social skills for the child, as it is a valuable learning experience. A caregiver should not ignore your child by, for example, sitting them in front of the television for extended periods of time.  Many research studies have proven that human to human interaction  has a profound effect on the development of a child at the neurological level.
Usually, parents are the child’s first  primary care givers. When a new person is about to become  a part of a child’s life we must allow time for smooth transitions. Parents must  be present during those important  first encounters between the child and caregiver. The chosen person should be able to interact with the child as with any other person.   These interactions should take place in a loving and relaxed environment with loving and relaxed relationships. This way, they contribute to emotional and intellectual development of the child.
The best opportunities to create this environment and build their relationship is through daily routines, such as those involving the child directly, as well as, the interaction the child observes. When the relationships between the parents and care givers (family members, friends, etc.) are based on respect, then that is exactly what they will be modeling to their child. They will learn to trust this person at their own pace, and in his own way.
Picking the right person can be a long and tedious process that involves  substantial research and interaction between yourself and the caregiver.  This should happen long before introducing the  caregiver to your child. Changing  caregivers often will only result in confusion and instability for the child and the whole family.
When choosing the right person, parent’s  must feel confident with their choice  and they should genuinely consider the child’s opinion.
The person  most affected by the caregiver’s ability or inability to bond and meet the needs of the child will be the child.  According to the many studies, this effect can be felt at even the neurological level. For this reason choosing the right caregiver is a decision that should be taken very seriously.

“Our social interactions even play a role in reshaping our  brain through ‘neuroplasticity’ which means that repeated experiences sculpt the shape, size, number of neurons and their synaptic connections. By repeatedly driving our brain into a given register, our key relationship can gradually mold certain neural circuitry. In effect, being chronically hurt and angered, or being emotionally nourished, by someone we spend time with daily over the course of the year can refashion our  brain” – Daniel Goleman, Ph.D.

Brazelton, T. Berry Ph.D, The Irreducible Needs of the Children
Goleman, Daniel, Ph.D.,  Social Intelligence
Jones, Elizabeth & Prescott, Elizabeth.  Dimensions of Teaching/II.  Focus on Day Care
Konner, Melvin, The Evolution of Childhood

Friday, May 6, 2011

Viendo el año nuevo con nuevos ojos (From LRS)

‘Image via Lifes Ill on Flickr.’
Para muchas personas el comienzo de un año nuevo representa empezar nuevas cosas. A diferencia de los adultos, para los chicos , cada experiencia es algo totalmente nuevo. Uno de los mejores regalos que podemos darles a los chicos es paciencia. Permitirles a los niños aprender de las experiencias sin interferir es un obsequio para ellos.
El proceso de aprendizaje comienza al nacer y se extiende a lo largo de toda la vida. Muchas de las primeras experiencias de aprendizaje de un niño son verdaderos descubrimientos. Por ejemplo, cuando un chico abre los ojos por primera vez comienza a descubrir y a tratar de darle sentido a patrones, formas y figuras. Cuando el niño es expuesto a luz brillante reacciona entrecerrando o cerrando los ojos Aunque esto pueda parecer solo una acto reflejo, esta acción es la que va a ayudar al chico a aprender a adaptar y proteger su cuerpo de diferentes maneras.
El proceso por el cual un niño toma conciencia de su propio cuerpo, como algo suyo, lleva un tiempo. Para muchas personas es difícil comprender este proceso como algo real.. Al principio los chicos mueven sus extremidades, en forma desorganizada pero gradualmente, con el tiempo, esos mismos moviemientos empiezan a ser más controlados. De esta forma el niño aprende muchas cosas que nosotros como adultos algunas veces olvidamos que para aprenderlas se requiere de entrenamiento, esfuerzo y repetición.
Es durante esta parte crucial en el desarrollo del niño cuando los padres pueden sentir la inclinación de facilitar y a veces acelerar este proceso especial de aprendizaje.. Algunas veces, cuando los padres ven que sus hijos obsevan, tocan y hasta exploran con sus bocas su propio cuerpo y no tocan los juguete, se preocupan de que su hijo no este aprendiendo tan rápido como ellos consideran que debiera hacerlo.
Esta situacián, facilmente lleva a que los padres pongan un juguete en la mano y doblandoles los deditos lo fuerce a sujetarlo. Siguiendo esta lógica en la forma de hacer las cosa debiéramos abrirles los ojos a los ojos aun recién nacido?.
Es importante tener presente que aunque no todos somos neurólogos podemos darnos cuenta que hay un proceso desarrollandose en el cerebro de un niño. Debemos usar el sentido común respetando ese proceso y otorgarle al niño el derecho de descubrir su propio cuerpo y como funciona a su modo.
En la misma forma que el niño abre y cierra los ojos como reacción a la exposición a luz o al ruido, el resto de su cuerpo también está aprendiendo a adaptarse a nuevos entornos y situaciones.
Lo mejor que podemos hacer es darles a los chicos su propio espacio, paciencia y unos pocos y diferentes juguetes suaves al tacto para explorar. La misma curiosidad de los niños además de su creatividad y el natural desarrollo como persona son los factores ideales para dirigir el proceso de aprendizaje.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Seeing the new year through brand new eyes (From LRS)

‘Image via Lifes Ill on Flickr.’
For many people the New Year is a time for reinvention and new beginnings. Unlike adults, when it comes to young children, every experience is brand new. One of the most valuable gifts we can give to our young child is patience.  Allowing a child to make the most of all their new experience without interference is a gift.
The process of learning begins at birth and continues through life. Much of the first learning experiences of a child are discoveries. For example, when a child first open their eyes, they begin to discover and try to make sense of patterns, shapes and figures. The child will squint or close their eyes in bright light.   While this may seem just a reflex, it is this reflex that will help the child learn to adjust and protect their bodies in different ways.
It takes a period of time for a baby to come to the realization that their body is theirs and even that is a process in it’s self. People do not seem to realize or understand this is REAL.  At first, they may make all sorts of random movements with their limbs, but gradually over time, those movements will become more controlled. In this way, the baby is learning about many things, that we as adults, some times forget takes training, effort and repetition to learn.
During this crucial part of development, parents might feel an inclination to try to facilitate and sometimes expedite this particular learning process. Sometimes as parents watch their child observe, touch and even taste themselves for long periods of time without even touching toys they might have, they become concerned that their child just isn’t learning fast enough. This usually culminates in activities such as gripping exercises where a parent will place a toy in the child’s hand and wrap their fingers around it for them. Following that logic, should we also open their eyes for them the moment they are born?
The important thing to realize is that, though we are not all neurologists, we can at the very least recognize that internally there is an ongoing process that is taking place. We should use common sense in respecting it, and allowing the child the right to discover their own body and how it functions in their own natural way. In the same way that their eyes open and close sometimes as a response to too much light or noise, the rest of their body is also learning to adapt to new environments and situations. The best that we can do is give them some space, patience and a few different soft toys to explore. Their own curiosity, creativity and development with naturally lead them through their learning process.
Post by Magdalena Palencia