Portrait of smiling businessman with cell phone

The hyperconnected society and what it means for early years education

Expectations of today’s modern parents are changing; these changes should be seen as an opportunity to improve communications with families.

Hyperconnected is a relatively new term that refers to the widespread adoption of Internet enabled technology devices allowing people to be continuously linked to other people and to information globally. With laptops, tablets and in particular, smartphones, a large percentage of the population is reachable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and global intelligence is instantly available at our fingertips.

The phenomenon of instantly available and easily accessible information has created what many are calling a “re-wiring” of the human brain. Throughout history, humans have responded to changes in their environment to maintain an evolutionary advantage and we’re now seeing real evidence of this adaptation as a result of hyperconnectivity. There are mixed feelings about whether these changes are a net positive or net negative to society, but few would deny that the change is happening, particularly amongst the younger generations.

For many, it is difficult to imagine the days where we had to wait for a dial-up Internet connection, find a pay phone to make a call or walk through stacks in a library to find a book. We don’t have the time or the patience for this anymore – our expectations have changed. We want things now and it’s not because we’re greedy, but because we grew up this way.

The Millennial Generation or Generation Y, which are very much a part of the new hyperconnected society, are now young parents enrolling their children in early years programs so it is important to understand their expectations and how to meet them. Early years programs that embrace the new connectedness will develop and evolve with new standards and processes that will keep them connected with their families better than ever before.

At HiMama, it is one of our primary objectives to help early years programs to adapt and evolve with the new hyerconnected world. We do so by enabling early childhood educators to provide parents with information that is engaging, timely and relevant – the new expectation of today’s modern parents.

Instead of forcing parents to wait until the end of the day to receive information, we enable educators to share children’s experiences with parents instantly. We also help to make the information more engaging for parents by making it easily digestible, specific to their child, and filled with rich media like photos and videos. By providing information directly to parent’s mobile devices early years programs can leverage the opportunities created by the new hyperconnected world that we live in.

Leveraging hyperconnectivity to keep parents informed on children’s learning and development in early childhood education programs is a great way to meet the needs of parents while also gaining benefits internally by streamlining certain types of communications. Digital communications, however, shouldn’t be the only form of communication with parents of course. Face-to-face communications are equally important in building strong relationships with families and for having more involved conversations that digital communications cannot replace. The programs that lead the way into the future will find the right balance between digital and face-to-face communications to build the strongest relationships with their families.

Ron Spreeuwenberg

Ron is the Co-Founder & CEO of HiMama, where he leads all aspects of a social purpose business that helps early childhood educators improve learning outcomes for children.