To say we love our son is a gross understatement. The love one feels for a child is not only unconditional, but almost indescribable.
That’s why making sure how we teach him is on my mind today. Well, to tell the truth, it’s on my mind every day. And especially so when I see how he interacts and utilizes our iPad.
Is an iPad or Tablet Bad for my Toddler?
That’s one of the questions I asked when we first found out how much our son loves using his (Mom’s) iPad.
My conclusion is that it’s not a bad thing at all. In fact, we’re continually impressed with how his learning is progressing because of his interaction with various children’s apps.
There’s an interesting study going on by Jordy Kaufman, director of the BabyLab at Swinburne University in Melbourne, to explore the impact of the use of technology on children aged two to five. BabyLab – note the hi-tech intercapital – is Australia’s first infant cognitive neuroscience laboratory, and Kaufman got the idea for his research while observing his son, then five, playing with an iPod Touch.
“It was so intuitive to him, I thought: there is something important going on here and we need to learn what effects this is having on learning and attention, memory and social development.” His team’s research will be published later this year, but Kaufman strongly believes it is wrong to presume the same evils of tablets as televisions. “When scientists and pediatrician advocacy groups have talked about the danger of screen time for kids, they are lumping together all types of screen use. But most of the research is on TV. It seems misguided to assume that iPad apps are going to have the same effect. It all depends what you are using it for.”
Throwing Out the Old?
When my wife first got pregnant, we both got a lot of advice from family, our Doctor, and of course…Google. As new parents we wanted to make sure we were doing all we could to make sure the baby developed as best he could.
We played music and talked to him. All while he grew inside the womb.
The Importance of Reading
We started reading to him before he was born and continue to read to him every day. With the addition of the iPad learning, it’s sometimes difficult to remember to actually sit down with a book, but I really want to avoid one replacing the other.
That said, sometimes we just read books on the iPad;)
Everything in Moderation. Even Learning Tools.
To expand on the above, we do still feel it’s vitally important to continue to make sure that our little guy has a variety of tactile experiences whether he’s reading or playing, so we make a point to limit the time spent with the iPad each day.
After all, turning pages with a book and an iPad are two very different things:)
Moving Forward and a Public Thanks
We’ll do our best to find the balance as he continues to grow and learn. I’d also like to give a big thanks to those people creating some of the awesome children’s apps available to us for a mere $0.99 through the App Store!