I’ve just read a November 28, 2011 Bloomberg article, iPad Crazed Toddlers Spur Holiday Sales. OK, the title is a bit overly dramatic, but it’s an interesting read, describing the demand for tablets of all kinds and kids’ motivation to use them.
Seriously, though, the tone of the article makes me worry a bit. As a confirmed techie, gadget lover, educational technology specialist, teacher, and parent, I know that children also need lots of outside play time and plenty of experiences working/playing with others. We don’t know what the jobs will be in 15 years when these kids are looking for employment, but we do know that their superior technology skills will matter little if they don’t have great people skills — understanding how to share, take turns, and work collaboratively.
The article reminds parents about the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations about no screen time (or very little of it) for children under two years of age. And please — this is a plea from me — avoid, as much as possible, using these digital devices as electronic pacifiers, the term used in the article by Victoria Nash of the Oxford Internet Institute (England).
Of course, we all need moderation in all things. Be sure you have gadget-free times at your house. Plan to turn off or at least put away digital devices during family times, meals, sports activities, and at bedtime.
And the best part of the Bloomberg article? Discovering the Goodnight iPad book (read this Washington Post review or read Tina Barseghian’s review at KQED Mindshift). I’ve just ordered my copy.