While researchers scramble to determine whether it is good or bad idea to allow children to use iPad's or similar touchscreen devices for extended periods of time, many children already have access to the devices and can navigate them quite well. Some researchers have an inclination to generalize what they know about television watching and apply it to our touchscreen interactive devices. I am not an expert on child learning and psychology, but I will tell you we are looking at two totally different animals.
Technology and more specifically the internet and communication has made the world a much smaller and more informed place. by that I mean that knowledge is all around us and if you want to visit somewhere to see what it is like, you don't have to organize a grand expedition and spend thousands of dollars. You simply jump on Google and search images and read stories. You can even network socially with people all the way across the planet.
Imagine how long it took cavemen to communicate a simple concept or discovery. That time decreased with the establishment of a common language and written communication system. The learning curve decreased even more once books and other media started disseminating the information on a large scale. Soon we could take advantage of technology and keep ourselves warm and well-fed without communicating directly with the person who made the discovery.
Fast forward a couple thousand years to the invention of the internet and eventually the modern day iPad. Now we have volumes of information literally right at our fingertips. Do you think intelligence has the potential to progress and grow even faster? Hell yes it does. Tons of research suggests we aren't even tapping a fraction of the potential of our minds to process and utilize information. Interactive devices are technologies answer to that challenge.
Guess what parents? Our brains are already formed and the evolution isn't gong to happen with us, but our children are still capable of harnessing the power the technology affords. Of course, it isn't healthy to let our children get fully observed into our iPads 24/7 but, it isn't hurting them unless you're exposing them to inappropriate information.
Face it folks, you aren't exactly the picture of entertainment and education after you get done with an eight hour workday and 45 minutes of stressful grocery shopping and running errands. Kids need something to stimulate their imaginations and facilitate creativity. You bitching about the office isn't it.
(Top Image Courtesy of ParentsExpert.com)