Everyone knows that young children soak up their environment and learn new things quickly. This is the time when they learn quickest. So it shouldn’t be surprising that they can figure out new technology quite rapidly.
Think about how many times you’ve heard people complain that only their kids know how to set the clock on the VCR.
An article entitled “Why an iPhone could actually be good for your 3-year-old” by Neil Swidey from last Sunday’s Boston Globe goes into detail about how and why it might just be good for your kids’ development to spend time with something like an iPhone or iPod Touch.
You know how it is. You’re waiting with your kids at the doctor’s office and it goes longer than expected. Or it is getting to be lunch time, you are nowhere near home yet and your kids need a distraction. You might hand them your iPhone to play with.
It’s been hard to avoid noticing that a huge number of the applications available for the iPhone are for kids. Swidey’s Globe article states that “60 percent of the 25 top-selling paid applications in the education section of the iTunes App Store target toddlers and preschoolers, according to a new content analysis by Sesame Workshop’s Joan Ganz Cooney Center.”
Having such portable technology brings more information for learning anywhere at any time. But it seems pretty important to pick and choose which apps you let your children play with. Pick educational ones, not ones full of “empty-calories.” And as always, know what your kids are doing and stay involved. When asked about the iPhone, Dr. Michael Rich, director of the Center on Media and Child Health at Children’s Hospital Boston, says, “It’s here to stay. Let’s learn to use it in ways that help us and learn to turn it off when it’s not helpful.”
Is time with the applications on an iPhone just another thing to monitor? Are they educational? What are your thoughts?