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Old 08-11-2012, 12:10 PM   #1
wyndslash
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What are your thoughts on young children playing on iPads/other electronic tablets

I decided not to put a poll since I really just want this to be a free conversation. Well, I think there has been a past thread on this before (I'm not sure), but lots of people get scolded when they bring up really old threads, so I'm just making a new one.

Anyway, I'm sure there are many parents who are simply in the middle; as in, they utilize both electronic and tactile (physical) stimulations for their kiddies, but I was wondering if you had a preference and if letting young kiddies use these would impact them negatively in some way in the future. My personal experience is that many parents would ignore their kids and just let them play on their tablets. I'm wondering if this would somehow affect them in the sense that they might not see the "real thing". Or some such thing, as parents here do tend to be more protective of their kids (for ex not letting them out to play as much due to safety concerns).
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Old 08-11-2012, 12:54 PM   #2
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There is nothing wrong with kids exploring computer tech, as long as it is supervised.
Computers make as poor babysitters as TV sets.
There are several kid-friendly and kid-focused tablets out there and odds are the mythical iPad mini would do very well in that arena if it turns out to be real:
http://www.zdnet.com/why-would-apple...ds-7000002460/

With the proper software, computers of all kinds can be (and are) a major part of a modern kid's education.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #3
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Nothing wrong with it, but it's rather an expensive toy. One of those ruggedized/rubberized children's tablet would be a better choice.

Plus, I'm totally jealous that I can't readily afford an shiny new iPad, but someone else can give an $800 iPad to their 3-year-old. But that's a separate issue.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:11 PM   #4
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Both my small kids (1 and 2) love the ipad....they watch movies and play with the kids games (mickey puzzles and pooh storybooks are the hits).
I think its fine. That being said, I dont let them just sit at it for hours, just one or twice a day for 30 minutes or so.
Plus, "out of sight, out of mind" so they will forget about it for days at a time until it appears again.

There are quite a few educational kids apps out there so I dont' see any issue.

EDIT: oh, it can be especially useful for the 2 year old on car trips....
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:29 PM   #5
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iStuff great idea to keep them away from serious equipment.
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Old 08-11-2012, 01:35 PM   #6
Neil Clarke
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My day job is as a technology director for a private pk-8 school. We believe that technology that actively engages a child in learning or creating is a good thing. Of course, some balance is required, but kids are actually better about that than you'd expect. I've seen a lot of interesting results over the last twenty years, mostly very positive.

With my own kids (now 9 and 12), I attribute their early reading skills (pk-2) to the combination of access to a laptop with appropriate software and my wife and I reading to them. They still read and write (and now record) a lot.
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Old 08-11-2012, 02:17 PM   #7
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I let my niece play with my iPad..she's almost 3. She's really into dinosaurs now, so I downloaded a few dinosaur apps and she also likes that kid's show Pocoyo. Most of the time I'm with her while she uses it.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:05 PM   #8
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My 3-year-old uses either my or my husband's iPad from time to time. I have a 10-year-old who also does, but she has her own Nook Tablet so not as often. But both have technology easily available. I obviously think it's fine.
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Old 08-11-2012, 05:19 PM   #9
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Just be careful with user accounts. Anyone else remember the Smurfs iPad game where kids would rack up hundreds of dollars in credit card charges because it didn't require the password for a certain time after completing another paid transaction?
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Old 08-11-2012, 07:28 PM   #10
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Yup - supervision, commonsense, and a healthy balance of activities.

The digital revolution happened, but there's no need for it to take over the lives of the young - or the other end of the spectrum, come to that.

Although the supervision bit might be a trifle trickier ...........
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neil Clarke View Post
My day job is as a technology director for a private pk-8 school. We believe that technology that actively engages a child in learning or creating is a good thing. Of course, some balance is required, but kids are actually better about that than you'd expect. I've seen a lot of interesting results over the last twenty years, mostly very positive.
*The* Neil Clark? Publisher of Clarkesworld? Welcome to MobileRead.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:52 PM   #12
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Why the separation of tablets from all of the other tech out there (desktop computers, laptops, games consoles, phones, etc)?

I let my niece use my iPad, with my supervision. Why with supervision? Because it cost me £400!!

Tablets have a lot of potential for educational, as well as just for games, so I think they can be a good tool in a child's growth; one of the benefits in this respect, is that they are a lot more portable than normal computers (even laptops), and are convenient to dig out for a few minutes enter/edutainment.
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Old 08-11-2012, 08:54 PM   #13
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Heck... People let their dogs and cats play with their iPad. A little bit stingy not to let the kids in on the fun.
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:39 PM   #14
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*The* Neil Clark? Publisher of Clarkesworld? Welcome to MobileRead.
Thanks!
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Old 08-11-2012, 10:58 PM   #15
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I think it's a good idea to clean their hands first.

Other than that? Sure! You can't leave a young child unsupervised with an iPad anyhow, because it'll be broken or dumped in the toilet or fed to the dog in very short order. Engage, limit, balance, enjoy. My kid's had his own iPod Touch for a good while now, and access to my iPad. Any non-educational iGames are included in his daily 30 minute videogame limit, we've used educational software for vocab, spelling, maths, geography, and other things; he now uses Safari/Wikipanion/National Geographic/Google Maps for homework reference help. Now that he's progressed to YA novels he's about to get his first e-ink reader sometime this year (as soon as a non-Nook frontlit device comes out for me...) and is also looking forward to that. Despite media alarmism about electronics, this doesn't seem to have limited his development in other areas - two sports, two instruments and choir, good academic progress, and a busy social life.

These days I think it's quite important for kids to be exposed to electronics and to become proficient in their use. Things like typing and UI navigation are skills as basic as handwriting, if not more so nowadays, and the earlier you start the easier it is.
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