Using technology to help children's communication skills

Posted by / Monday 20 February 2017 / Parenting Tips Speech and Communication
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Technology is part of our every day lives - from our smartphones and tablets to our computers, laptops and TVs. So it's natural that our children will grow up skilled using these. 

Learning to talk relies on children talking, playing and listening face to face with adults and other children, but technology can also have a big role in teaching children some of these skills. 

Television and touch screen devices can support their language development if children talk with other children and adults while using them. It's important to use technology alongside supportive face to face interactions with real people, instead of replacing talking and playing.

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Get out your camera, strike a pose and strike up a conversation

The simple camera function on your phone can be the start of using pictures so that you and your child can share where you have been or who you have seen.

Some nurseries and schools encourage young children to take their own photos to show their families when they get home. These can be a way of sharing what’s happened during the day, encouraging children to share stories and have conversations.

Have a virtual phone call over Skype

Video-calling such as Skype or Face time on a tablet or phone can support social interaction and communication skills as it makes it easy for children to show people the things they want to talk about and to talk with  family and friends.

By doing this they’re also learning to take turns during a conversation, watch the other person’s reactions and to explain things to someone who isn’t in the same room as them. Have a look at our ten point plan on how to use technology as an communication opportunity.

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Get gaming - games are fun but they also teach us some important rules

If others join in with apps and games or taking and viewing photos they become shared experiences and can be a starting point for children’s own questions, stories and imaginative responses.

These tips have been brought to you from children's speech and language specialists at I can.

If you’d like more ideas, or are worried about the way your child is learning new words, why not have a free chat to one of I CAN’s speech and language therapists. The I CAN Help service can help with any questions you have about your child's language and communication.