With respect to last week’s posts (here and here) on the subject, Ben Worthen has an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal about some of the challenges and rewards iPad use poses for young children and their parents. On one hand the article shares statistics like those from a study that showed an educational iPad app boosted vocabulary skills 27% in 5-year-old children. On the other, the author relates how immersed in the experience his own son was when using the device, to a point where “he wouldn’t even respond when we called his name.”
It’s useful to see how other parents approach the issue. Worthen began to let his kid have it more frequently, and then decided he had to pull back, opting to cut iPad time completely. Others have a more pragmatic strategy. When Julia Campins’ son got a tablet as a present, his parents only let his son have it as a reward or to soothe him on airplane trips.
Another notable point from the article is how child psychologists compare the app experience as closer to Lego brand toys than television. While too much may be a bad thing, at some level smart iPad use can help kids’ developing minds. You can find useful tidbits in the Journal article, and try to decide whether to adopt a tech strategy more like Campins’ or the author’s. Choosing the latter might mean working harder to teach your kids new words, just as an example…
[Wall Street Journal; img. via VR-Zone]