We’ve all seen it, the family at a restaurant, parents engaged in normal conversation while the kinds stare quietly at the screens of their iPads, touching, swiping and pinching the time away. Let’s be very clear, you can replace the word “iPad” in the above sentence above with virtually any form of flat screen media (Gameboy, DS, PSP) — it’s not the media that’s at issue, it’s the underlying principle.
A New Orleans mom says that her iPad “is movies, books and games all wrapped in one nice package,” noting that it keeps her 3-year-old son “busy for hours.” A Silicon Valley mom says that her 2 1/2-year-old loves conceptual apps, memory matching games and a drawing program but also notes that he has books, crayons and Legos. “It’s not replacing any of these things; it’s one more thing he’s getting exposed to,”
The potential benefit of iPhones and iPads for young children is obvious, they’re undeniably powerful learning tools — but as Wake Forest University psychology professor Deborah Best notes in the article — content must be age-appropriate and designed for learning. In other words, Angry Birds doesn’t cut it.