iOChildren as young as 18 months are vastly becoming a core demographic at a whole new field of iPad applications.
The question quicklybecomes... How young is too young to be so intertwined with technology?
Advocates for the integration of iPads and iTouch technologies argue these tools are effective learning agents and developmental building blocks...
... Skeptics argue thatthis against this route.iPads have been called“attention- spanshrinkers” and“mildly addictive”
Could children using thesetechnologies really be headingtoward social demise? Or is thisthe way of the future...Children viewing the world throughan i-dimension?
Children seemnaturally drawn in tothe bright coloursand touch screens
In previous generations, children would have had to settle for touching the television screen in attempts to interact with their programs
Suri Cruise has an iPad...Is it just a high priced toy?
iPads sell from $549 - $879 Cdn ... A hefty price tag for just a “toy”
Toy manufacturers and companies recognized a 15 year trendof children moving away from traditional toys and towards electronic ones at younger ages
Grail Research reported that children born between the mid-1990s and2010 are “tech-savvy, globally connected and comfortable with or even dependent on technology”. They are “digital natives” or “generation Z.”
The Ontario Media Development Corporation has invested $8 million in interactive companies (focusing on developing aps for young audiences)since 2005 and has seen a return of $33 million in economic activity and sales.
Is it possible for iPads and iTouch technology to be used effectively as learning tools considering children are drawn to the technology anyway?
Some childpsychologists believe the iPad is best for toddlers as it is mapped out in away that is suited to how they think.
They can relate to colours, patterns, and symbols and makeassociations between them through using their hands and the ease of sweeping across the screen.
They can also see cause-and-effect patterns work immediately
“From a parents point of view, an iPad isgreat because its not only videos, itsalso television without commercials, itsalso childrens books that are interactiveand more engaging, and its also adevice a child could use by themselves,and just open up whatever a childwants to play with” -Tech Blogger, Mike Elgan
The large size of the iPad and big icons make it easy to sharewith other classmates encouraging peer-to-peer interaction in a classroom.
Toronto teacher Steacie Carroll uses touch-screen technology with her students aged 4 to 14 who have developmental disabilities
She still uses traditional tools— puzzles, posters, books and buildingblocks — but her students get especially excited when they interact with the iTouch or iPad.
Some are concerned the importance of traditional educational methods will be ignored...
Some are concerned that children will wonder what a “real book” looks like...
As more technology is tailored to younger demographics, itbecomes a matter of balancing the traditional and electronic worlds properly
The challenge for parents is now to monitor screen time and ensure that their children are not interacting with people or applications that they should not be.
It is clear the iPad is not just a toy, and rather an integralpart of the technologies that will inevitability be the future of childhood
ReferencesImages Courtesy of Flickrhttp://www.newser.com/story/91551/toddlers-the-new-ipad-whizzes-addicts.htmlhttp://www.bestkidsapps.com/ages-0-4/best-ipad-apps-for-toddlers/http://www.thestar.com/living/article/824100--is-the-ipad-the-next-big-toy-for-toddlershttp://www.thestar.com/news/canada/article/934673--iphone-apps-a-hit-with-preschoolershttp://news.cnet.com/cool-ipad-apps-for-toddlers/8301-17938_105-20062629-1.html