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July 11, 2013

5 Great Uses of Ipads for Toddlers

My family and I are all big tech geeks, not because we want to be but because we have to be. Along with my husband (who is a software developer) I own an ed-tech start up, and co-own a fine arts and tech company lets just say technology runs in our blood.

 It's no wonder that our children have been touched with the technology bug, much like most kids whose parents career choices affect them greatly. I have attempted to curb their thirst for the latest gadgets, however most of what they crave has been found to be quite useful.

All of my children have tablets, yes even the two year old, now to this point that is probably not necessary. If  however, you have ever had to spend so much of an hour with 3 children who are required to share anything you will know why this is the case. It’s about my sanity and not their ability to know how to share, you are welcome to judge here, I am comfortable with that and I am digressing. To make my point, my two year old is probably the child who spends the most time on her ipad.

I am not sure there is a necessity to justify these actions but I will make this argument. She has far exceeded her brothers and sisters capacity of learning at this age and I attribute a large portion of that learning to the Ipad.

As an educator, I am very comfortable with the necessity of language comprehension  for the the early learner. particularly toddlers.  Many early learners need variations in speech verbalized and  mindless screen time can have a negative effect on communication skills in the early learning phase if left unchecked.  

I am also a big proponent of classical education which focuses heavily on linguistics and reading in the early or grammar stage for pre-elementary students. With my background in education, and my understanding of educating young learners, hands down I still think the Ipad is great for little ones in early education.

Here are just a few reasons why:

1. Educational Apps- There are a plethora of apps available for young learners that help them to process and absorb information so much faster. Everything from abc’s, letter’s, shapes, colors, numbers and the list goes on and on. When we were having a difficult time potty-training my two year old we found even found an app for that!

2. Screen time- I choose to limit my daughters screen time because a variety of play is important in the learning process. I find however, allowing her to have scheduled screen time keeps her from over indulging in television or online. She seems to understand the uses of both which assists in time management and sharing. These are critical skills that kids need when growing up and help prepare them for the classroom environment.

3. Preparation for school- Whether we want to accept it or not there is a huge shift taking place in the field of education. Digital technology is becoming more available and necessary for students in grades k-12. My guess is by the time my little one starts school all of her books will either be e-books or close there to. I don’t want her walking in on the first day of class not knowing what to do because mommy didn’t want to embrace current trends. Digital technology is not going away!

4. Its mobile- All tablets not just the Ipad have this great ability, they are mobile. They are the go anywhere machine. This means when we travel, my kids can learn, entertain themselves, and work on a new language if they choose. Its all at their fingertips, and just so you know I have downloaded apps for dual language learning for my two year old. I told you this wasn’t all about playtime!

5. Its fun- I have to say this through clenched teeth because I feel like our current society puts waaaay too much emphasis on fun for kids. Which is generally a huge let down once they reach a certain stage in life and fun is no longer the middle school. However, for the purposes of this blog I will say that my two year old loves her Ipad because its fun, it brings her joy to play with her games, watch yo gabba gabba and go to the bathroom when her potty timer goes off. If she is happy then that makes me happy! We all know that the terrible twos can be quite difficult to muddle through and any expense that helps make this transition easier is welcome!

In essence most kids love whatever their parents love. I am sure kids of fashion designers love clothes and fabrics. Kids of police officers love guns and fast cars with lights. The children of the likes of Michael Dell, Bill Gates, and others…you guessed it technology!  With the huge changes in the scope of education and transitions in the tech field, kids today are never too young to start learning how to swipe or click. 

Make today your best Mom day!


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