According to a study by Common Sense Media, last year an astounding 52% of American children under 8 had used a mobile device such as an iPod touch or iPad. Many of these children had used them on a daily basis.
Since the dawn of technology new families have used the latest gadgets and toys to entertain their children and fill the gaps in increasingly busy schedules. While the average preschooler might be more attracted to the simplicity of a game like Temple Run than their parents’ children’s books, they’re also missing valuable life lessons and skills when they aren’t being truly engaged.
Parents can embrace new media while also ensuring that their children can learn and develop successfully. It helps if they pay attention to what applications their kids are using. Asking questions like ‘what is the point of this app?’ and ‘who is it aimed at?’ can only help. Like all technology, a mobile device has the potential to be both a good and a bad influence on kids. In the end, the proper app choices can make the difference in whether it becomes another ‘virtual babysitter’ or something much more useful.
[Common Sense Media via MSNBC]