Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon

Wired co-founder and tech oracle Kevin Kelly posted three anecdotes the other day in which digital kids say the darnedest things. One was about a 5-year-old who saw a TV and wondered where the mouse was; another about an iPad-using toddler who tried to use pinch gestures on a printed photograph; and a third about an 8-year-old asking how people got on the Internet before there were computers. I've heard similar stories from friends about their kids' iPad-born misconceptions of how the world works.

 

Am I nuts, or are those stores more disturbing than cute - especially the one about the picture-pinching toddler? If this was a story about how a kid hit another kid with a hammer because cartoons made him think it wouldn't do any real damage, we'd all be horrified at the way TV had distorted his understanding of reality. It seems to me that these kids' understanding of reality is equally warped. But Kelly and most of his commenters seem blissfully unaware of any such issues. His grandiose closing paragraph merely smiles at the tots' wise insight that "if something is not interactive, with mouse or gestures, it is broken" before concluding with some techno-schmaltz about how "the internet is not about computers or devices; it is something mythic, something much larger; it is about humanity."

Remember, you and I came to the iPad era grounded in at least a couple of decades of interaction with our physical environments. What happens to the human mind when, during the most crucial period in its cognitive and motor development, it encounters technologies like the iPad? We have no idea. I hate to pee in the virtual punchbowl, but it seems wise to at least consider the possibilities now. iPad-type devices are still only used by a relatively tiny number of people. If introducing children to iPads at an early age can harm their development, that's a lesson we'd hate to learn after the devices have become as ubiquitous as TV.

Maybe I'm being paranoid here, or underestimating kids' ability to learn distinctions between virtual and physical worlds. I'm no kind of expert on any of these subjects. But I can't help but feel a twinge of unease at the anecdotes that transport Kelly into such ecstasies of virtual optimism. What about you? Do, or will, your kids have iPads in their cribs? Or would you rather they learned how to work with the real world first before they toddle into the virtual one?

Photo by Flickr user oxtopus. Used under a Creative Commons License.

 

jasonrallen


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jasonrallen

I understand this article's scope is most likely your average, everyday developing child, but please don't forget about children with Autism (or any other condition) who use iPads to connect with the world in ways they cannot on their own.

My son, for example, is autistic. His iPad has done wonders for his education (he never spelled anything before playing the First Words series of kids games) and as you can see in the following video it brings him enjoyment on a scale he hardly ever expresses on his own:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BJ0XX3zO30
*(volume warning, cell phone mic a bit loud, sorry)*

We are careful to keep his iPad time limited, and it has become a part of his daily routine (usually a combined total of 1 - 2 hours per day, tops). Just like television, video games, and the internet, tablets will only cause problems for children concurrent with the attention their parents pay to their activities.

bsmith1


quality posts: 92 Private Messages bsmith1

How is it any different from a baby shaking a rattle to hear the noise? What about toys that light up and make sounds when the baby touches a button? Those sorts of toys have been around a long time. There might be a kids' book, for instance, that "barks" when the kid touches the picture of a dog. That ain't gonna happen with a normal picture of a dog, but you don't seem concerned about that. At that young age, they're just like rats pushing the lever for a food pellet anyway. "Ooooh...pretty lights and sounds, I'll do that again!"
If anything, these kids will grow up with a head-start having a mindset of how technology can improve our otherwise boring environment. By the time these kids grow-up, we'll all be wandering around in virtual (or at least augmented) reality. Again, this will just prepare them for that sort of virtual interaction.
We humans have ambition that exceeds the limitations of the "natural" world. Technology is our next stage of evolution. You have nothing to worry about, Toon, it's just the future calling!

techhat


quality posts: 0 Private Messages techhat

I like reading Wired as much at the next guy. But it should be kept in mind that 110% of the content printed there is utter crap, and the rest is suspect at best. "It is about humanity?" Spare me.

griffyndor


quality posts: 0 Private Messages griffyndor

I am a teacher and I really worry that all the technology is doing them a disservice. We have students who want everything on the computer but they aren't computer literate. They work on presentations and focus more on the pretty aspects than the information. They are caught in a no man's land. They've no idea how to use plain old books to research because they are used to being able to get the answers quickly from google or wiki. They don't understand how to determine whether a source is valid or even what key words will give them the best results. Of course we do what we can to cover all this information but it is time consuming.

I also worry that the creativity is being usurped by instantly gratifying images that are found everywhere. There is no need or desire to read anymore because it takes too long and they can't imagine the scenes. If the student it given free reign to create, they come to a stand still. Guidelines must be explicit or they get frustrated. They want to know how many paragraphs, pages, and pictures and can't imagine doing something until it's done. The minimum amount of work is all they want to do. If you make the mistake of showing an example. Most work returned reflects or outright copies the example.

When it comes to the children I plan to have, my partner and I have discussed holding back on technology. I don't want them using computers, mp3 players, xboxes or the like until they are 10. Even tv viewing will be greatly limited. We want them to play pretend with imaginary friends rather than rely on computers. Then we will gradually introduce tech. Imagination, creative thinking, and problem solving are all important skills that don't seem to readily manifest in an overly technical environment.

Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon
jasonrallen wrote:I understand this article's scope is most likely your average, everyday developing child, but please don't forget about children with Autism (or any other condition) who use iPads to connect with the world in ways they cannot on their own.

My son, for example, is autistic. His iPad has done wonders for his education (he never spelled anything before playing the First Words series of kids games) and as you can see in the following video it brings him enjoyment on a scale he hardly ever expresses on his own:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BJ0XX3zO30
*(volume warning, cell phone mic a bit loud, sorry)*

We are careful to keep his iPad time limited, and it has become a part of his daily routine (usually a combined total of 1 - 2 hours per day, tops). Just like television, video games, and the internet, tablets will only cause problems for children concurrent with the attention their parents pay to their activities.



Thanks for the comment. That's a fascinating story. I have no doubt that tablet use is also good for kids in some ways, both for children on the autism spectrum and otherwise.

My observation is just that in the rush to embrace pretty amazing technology like the iPad, there's a lot of celebration going on of the benefits without much contemplation of the potential drawbacks. The human brain is amazingly adaptive, especially at such a young age. I just hope iPads aren't rewiring kids' brains away from a firm understanding of physical reality.

tigrange


quality posts: 2 Private Messages tigrange

Really? You are worried about this?

Childhood is about finding out what thing behaves in one certain way and what doesn't. My son grew up with pinch zoom pictures, and he knows the difference between paper and LCD well enough to know you can't pinch zoom a printed picture.

At the same time, I once caught him poking the LCD monitor sign at the library thinking it was an interactive touch screen. Kids will experiment and figure things out. Some things that seem obvious to us will not seem that obvious to them. All the same, if kids could get warped the way you think they do, we would have seen it by now with all the cartoons and fuzzy muppets our and our parents' generations were exposed to as babies and children.

Sure, we all fantasized about places where dogs could talk or we could marry the beautiful elf princess or something like that. But we didn't go up to random dogs on the street and go "Say something! Stop pretending to be dumb!"

My son was less than 2 (actually just over 1 years old) when he was telling us cartoons and TV aren't the real world. Considering that people popping in and out of existence or defying physics or conjuring things out of thin air is pretty par for course for your average non-cartoon advertisement bloc. If a 1 year old can build a complex enough world view to understand that, then kids can build a complex enough world to know the difference between an interactive display and a paper picture. At least after one or two seconds of momentary confusion.

icelynx1


quality posts: 0 Private Messages icelynx1

I agree with gryffindor that technology can do children a disservice. My ten year old has let me know I'm the meanest mom in the world because he's not entitled to a cell phone, his own computer, or playing video games whenever he wants. I've actually heard complaints from friends of his that there was nothing to do during a power outage. Luckily, my son knows how to pick up a book and read or play with "old-fashioned" toys.

On the other hand, there's no reason to ignore any potential advances in treating learning disabilities and autism with technology.

bsmith1


quality posts: 92 Private Messages bsmith1
griffyndor wrote:They've no idea how to use plain old books to research because they are used to being able to get the answers quickly from google or wiki. They don't understand how to determine whether a source is valid or even what key words will give them the best results.
...
There is no need or desire to read anymore because it takes too long and they can't imagine the scenes. If the student it given free reign to create, they come to a stand still. Guidelines must be explicit or they get frustrated. They want to know how many paragraphs, pages, and pictures and can't imagine doing something until it's done. The minimum amount of work is all they want to do.
...



Why make the kids use less efficient means (books) to get the same information? At least give them the books in electronic format so they can do a Ctrl+F. Also, how can you be sure the books are "valid" sources? Do you believe everything you read in a book?
A picture is worth a thousand words. Again, it's more efficient and accurate to see something for yourself instead of reading someone else's account of it and trying to recreate it exactly in your imagination. Doing the minimum amount of work is, again, the most effecient approach. Tell them exactly what you want and they'll give it to you with no fluff or time wasted. Sounds good to me.
If the kid wants to be an artist, then that's a totally different story and it's up to them to spend time being "creative".

griffyndor


quality posts: 0 Private Messages griffyndor

I would agree that most reference books will be out of date by the time they hit the shelves. However, being able to get information from a printed source where you don't have the search option is important. The students are so used to quick answers they do not read. They look at the highlighted words or the bullets and ignore all else. This is good if you want to get a general idea but not so much for genuine knowledge.

If we have any hope for a future, we will raise generations that will expand on what is and not settle for the least effort. Least effort will not do. This does not mean you can't work smarter and utilize tech, it just means that tech is not a substitute for thinking.

Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon
bsmith1 wrote:How is it any different from a baby shaking a rattle to hear the noise? What about toys that light up and make sounds when the baby touches a button? Those sorts of toys have been around a long time. There might be a kids' book, for instance, that "barks" when the kid touches the picture of a dog. That ain't gonna happen with a normal picture of a dog, but you don't seem concerned about that.



Well, the rattle is still giving them information about the physical world. As for light-up toys, or books that make sounds, those are much more limited, and much easier to distinguish from the real thing, than iPad images that child can drag, expand, shrink, rotate, and otherwise interact with on a screen.

bsmith1 wrote:If anything, these kids will grow up with a head-start having a mindset of how technology can improve our otherwise boring environment.



I'm more concerned about them growing up assuming that the world around them is "boring" unless it's spiced up with an interactive multimedia show. It seems like a recipe for incurious, unreflective kids to me.

No device can replicate the infinite variety of real life, or replace the valuable accidental insights that come from observing the material world through sight, sound, touch, and smell. Our wiring for dealing with reality has served us pretty well for thousands of years now, and we'd better think hard about whether we really want to rearrange it, no matter how cool the iPad is.

lynnpreston


quality posts: 0 Private Messages lynnpreston

I think the more pressing question is - why does the baby/toddler in the picture appear to be wearing a necklace? Given that we are apparently in parenting critique mode, that necklace appears to be more of a potential danger to the child than some iPad time.

BTW, I feel confident in saying that this is fundamentally the same discussion that was had when the printing press, radio and TV each first appeared.

ertolsma


quality posts: 13 Private Messages ertolsma
lynnpreston wrote:I think the more pressing question is - why does the baby/toddler in the picture appear to be wearing a necklace? Given that we are apparently in parenting critique mode, that necklace appears to be more of a potential danger to the child than some iPad time.



I think some evil homosexual atheist also painted his toenails pink

LukeDuff


quality posts: 3 Private Messages LukeDuff
Jason Toon wrote:
My observation is just that in the rush to embrace pretty amazing technology like the iPad, there's a lot of celebration going on of the benefits without much contemplation of the potential drawbacks. The human brain is amazingly adaptive, especially at such a young age. I just hope iPads aren't rewiring kids' brains away from a firm understanding of physical reality.



Learning to ride a bicycle rewires a kid's brain.

Parents teaching their kids how to use their tools has been happening since flint knives, many of which have been a lot less benign than an iPad.

BC4L!

bsmith1


quality posts: 92 Private Messages bsmith1
ertolsma wrote:I think some evil homosexual atheist also painted his toenails pink



Um...ok, but what does that have to do with a potential choking hazard being around the kid's neck? If it gets caught on something of if the kid noms on it, it could end badly.
(assuming that was the other poster's point)

sonofabeach


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sonofabeach
ertolsma wrote:I think some evil homosexual atheist also painted his toenails pink



I think the comment about the necklace is more about its hazard as a potential for choking, which apparently isn't widely recognized.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
lynnpreston wrote:I think the more pressing question is - why does the baby/toddler in the picture appear to be wearing a necklace? Given that we are apparently in parenting critique mode, that necklace appears to be more of a potential danger to the child than some iPad time.

BTW, I feel confident in saying that this is fundamentally the same discussion that was had when the printing press, radio and TV each first appeared.


Ha - wow. Now that is a good observation (the necklace). I had to scroll up to confirm.


When I got the first iPhone, I immediately let my kids use it. My youngest was 3, though, and I never quite had this level of concern. I do remember him nearly threw the phone down into a puddle while trying to change the color of the virtual light saber while saying "This is the worst phone ever!"

I remember it feeling remarkable that for an entire generation of people his age, the original iphone was nothing more than the "worst phone ever"

griffyndor


quality posts: 0 Private Messages griffyndor
Jason Toon wrote:I'm more concerned about them growing up assuming that the world around them is "boring" unless it's spiced up with an interactive multimedia show. It seems like a recipe for incurious, unreflective kids to me.

No device can replicate the infinite variety of real life, or replace the valuable accidental insights that come from observing the material world through sight, sound, touch, and smell. Our wiring for dealing with reality has served us pretty well for thousands of years now, and we'd better think hard about whether we really want to rearrange it, no matter how cool the iPad is.



Well stated! Bravo!

Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon
lynnpreston wrote:BTW, I feel confident in saying that this is fundamentally the same discussion that was had when the printing press, radio and TV each first appeared.



LukeDuff wrote:Parents teaching their kids how to use their tools has been happening since flint knives, many of which have been a lot less benign than an iPad.



I freely admit the possibility that my concerns are groundless. I know I'm not the first fuddy-duddy to wonder if some newfangled advancement was for better or worse.

For me, though, the current wave of interactive mobile technology seems to be a qualitative departure from flint knives and newspapers in terms of its relationship to the physical world. In the real world, a pinch is just a pinch, a touch is a just a touch... On an iPad screen, those actions do something completely different. For me and you, that's no problem. For a kid who can't yet fully distinguish between what they see on a screen and what they see in meatspace, it seems like touchscreens particularly send confusing mixed signals.

As I say, it's very likely that I'm wrong. But I do think it's odd how little anyone seems to be considering it.

iGGz


quality posts: 7 Private Messages iGGz

They are kids. They have experiences. They learn from said experiences. They grow up. The kids will be okay.

_____________________________________________

i am woot's god.

You're the giant Ken Jennings head? HOW DID YOU GET OUT?

roadfun


quality posts: 0 Private Messages roadfun

Basically, yeah you're paranoid. As a parent of a 2 year old and a 7 year old I'm confident those stories you relate are absolutely no cause for concern. The kids are simply experimenting and asking questions about their world. This is healthy (and any kids who aren't...).

rjtroester


quality posts: 1 Private Messages rjtroester
Jason Toon wrote:I freely admit the possibility that my concerns are groundless. I know I'm not the first fuddy-duddy to wonder if some newfangled advancement was for better or worse.

For me, though, the current wave of interactive mobile technology seems to be a qualitative departure from flint knives and newspapers in terms of its relationship to the physical world. In the real world, a pinch is just a pinch, a touch is a just a touch... On an iPad screen, those actions do something completely different. For me and you, that's no problem. For a kid who can't yet fully distinguish between what they see on a screen and what they see in meatspace, it seems like touchscreens particularly send confusing mixed signals.

As I say, it's very likely that I'm wrong. But I do think it's odd how little anyone seems to be considering it.



Well put, Jason. I think the point you're trying to make, and that I'd agree with, is that it's hard for us as adults to understand what the long-term effect of these gadgets will be.

For example, there are many studies that have shown that if a child doesn't learn language by a certain age, they will likely never fully acquire it (watch the movie Mockingbird Don't Sing - based on a true story). In other words, in development, kids brains are somewhat "plastic." That is, the neural connections are still being formed. I don't think Jason is being paranoid; he's simply asking the question - how will exposure to devices like the iPad affect our children's development? I think it's a legitimate question to ask and just jumping all over it because "I use technology and I turned out fine" or "my kid has an iPad in their crib and he's an angel" really doesn't prove anything. Again, Jason could be wrong, as he's admitted several times, but as a parent myself (who's not a tee-totaling technonazi) I for one think it's a topic that should be studied further.

Also regarding the use of technology to help learning for those on the autism spectrum or with other learning disabilities, I don't really think that's the issue here as those are special cases. I've got a good friend who's daughter has learning difficulties and they're planning to use an iPad to help supplement her learning. I think the key word there here is supplement.

And for the record, I've let my kids play with an iPhone, Wii, PS3, computer and if I had an iPad, I'd probably let them use it once in a while too - but it's always in limited quantities.

hayai62


quality posts: 1 Private Messages hayai62

Supposedly I used to ask how people typed papers before computers. I think the fact that a a small child knows enough to ASK about what things were like before a device was invented is itself a sign that they are AWARE that things were not always as they are now.

Secondly, a toddler who tries a pinch gesture on a paper photo is no different from a child labeling a horse as a large dog because they simply don't have all their categories in order yet. Eventually a child learns that not everything with four legs and a tail is the same kind of animal. I imagine toddlers will quickly learn that not every object is interactive. I believe you can rest assured your child will do as well ultimately distinguishing tangible objects from virtual representations as they will distinguishing their reflection in the mirror from another living individual person.

kuoh


quality posts: 2 Private Messages kuoh

As Bruce Willis' character realized to his dismay in Surrogates. Sure it's just Hollywood fiction now, but with ever increasing levels of virtual interaction and realism being brought on by newer technology, who knows?

Without external provocation, like a lion waiting to chase you down and take a bite out of your rump, most humans are naturally lazy, and efficiency is sometimes just another word for laziness. For the important things, kids mostly learn from example. If all they ever see their elders doing is picking up iPads, Kindles and Nooks, why would they ever bother to pickup a book? Hopefully, the human mind will never lose the ability to differentiate the real from the virtual, but it may all come down to the guidance and wisdom of the previous generations.

I think there is an axiom from the days of Methuselah which states that every generation is dumber and lazier than the one that preceded it. At least that's what I was once told by someone who I thought was very wise and very old. Or did I just see that in a movie theater somewhere? It's getting hard and harder to remember. ;)

KuoH

bsmith1 wrote:
We humans have ambition that exceeds the limitations of the "natural" world. Technology is our next stage of evolution.



OtakuCODE


quality posts: 0 Private Messages OtakuCODE

You are, entirely, being too paranoid. Things which actually hurt children: Diseases, dangerous animals, accidents, abusive people (almost always their parents). Things which have never, not once in history, hurt a child: Pictures on a screen, audio at a reasonable volume, fiction of any form, words, and especially - new user interfaces.

That children do not understand that prior technologies like photographs have piss-poor interfaces is natural. Kids don't know what a record is. That isn't a problem, it is an advantage. They have a better way to see the present and, in turn, the future. They are not pulled down and limited by the mistakes of the past. Certainly kids should be taught about the way things used to be done, in the context of explaining why they were improved. The past has no inherent value. Children don't know what it was like to slaughter their own animals to eat, and while they should certainly be taught about it or visit a farm to witness how food is made first-hand to have an accurate idea of the world, it's not something that is ever going to HURT them. Chances are very good that you yourself have no idea what it was like to live in a world without electric lights. Chances are good that you have never seen a night sky where you could see the 'milky' part of the Milky Way. This does not mean you are damaged. Humans are adaptable, and you have adapted. Do not steal this from your children.

I think people have a 'fear constant' built into their intuition. As we remove more and more things that are actually WORTH being afraid of, people will insist on fearing things for which there is no reason. Those fears are pointless and can be dangerous. "Better safe than sorry" is a lie. Safety, in the way it is interpreted today, leads only to ignorance and developmental handicapping. If something is not 100% PHYSICALLY dangerous, then it has inherent value. It can teach, and give a better idea of what reality is, how it works, etc. As a parent, your job is to HELP your children and to turn them into ADULTS, not simply larger children.

woozel


quality posts: 0 Private Messages woozel

I was repelled by the whole "the internet is about humanity" drivel as well. Humanity is interactive. These tools who keep acting as though a tool that emulates human interaction is better than actual human interaction are pitiful.

Whether or not iPads are good for kids depends on how they're used: if they're used by lazy parents to spare them the effort of actually talking to/educating their kids, then they're a bad idea. But if a clued-in parent uses one to supplement what they're doing, they could be useful.

If one of my kids seriously thought the world was "broken" because it didn't conform to their videogame understanding of the world, I'd fell like a failure. This is what WIRED has always done, though: they present some silicon abstraction as a new and improved version of human experience, no matter how inhuman it is.

sugarpike


quality posts: 8 Private Messages sugarpike
lynnpreston wrote:I think the more pressing question is - why does the baby/toddler in the picture appear to be wearing a necklace? Given that we are apparently in parenting critique mode, that necklace appears to be more of a potential danger to the child than some iPad time.

BTW, I feel confident in saying that this is fundamentally the same discussion that was had when the printing press, radio and TV each first appeared.




That was MY first thought as well - "A necklace on an infant??? What are they thinking? Major choking hazard!"

niagol


quality posts: 6 Private Messages niagol

I'm going to take a leap here and post something serious! As a parent of six, ranging from 9 yrs to 4 yrs, there are two points that need to be addressed. The first has been sort of said but not outrightly. As the parent, its your job to make sure that this doesn't happen if you don't want it to. As has been said, TV will warp our kids brains IF we put them infront of it 15 hours a day instead of interacting with our kids ourselves. That is the choice we make as parents, iPad or any other toys.

Secondly, kids like the flashy toys but for most after the "coolness" wears off, its just another thing. People are going to flame me for this, but our 9 year old has an iPhone, (although I've jailbroken it and removed most of its functionality to the point that it is an iPod that can only call mom, dad and grandparents,) and it was all the rage to her for Christmas. By the next month, it was something she played on, but not all the time and its ok now if her siblings play on it, she doesn't care. She still reads books, goes outside to play, etc. To go closer to the OPs original point, our 4 year old loves playing on our iPads/iPhones especially the finger painting type apps but again after awhile its off to something else. Of course this goes back to my first point, we've made it a habit of making them read (yep making them, we're parents after all.) We make them go outside and play. We turn off the computers and games and force them into the sun!

They'll be alright.

jenx42


quality posts: 0 Private Messages jenx42

I would be far more worried about the child's exposure to the disruptive electro magnetic fields, and environmental toxins and GMO foods and the state of the public school system, but yeah, who knows. No one just yet.

floppyghost


quality posts: 0 Private Messages floppyghost

You -severly- underestimate the abilities of normal children. Just because you can pinch and zoom and whatnot on -some- objects, it doesn't follow that you can with -all- objects.

But this is nothing new, kids have dealth with that for as long as there's been kids.

Just because -some- objects make pleasing sounds when shaken, it doesn't follow that all do. Just because rubbing -some- sticks on paper causes marks to appear, it does not follow that -all- sticks have this property and so on ad nauseum.

In short, kids will figure out ipads just -fine-, the same way they've figured out a million other kinds of objects for a million years.

sumerland3


quality posts: 0 Private Messages sumerland3

The only one of those 3 anecdotes that actually betrays a misunderstanding of the world is the 8 year old asking about the internet. Wondering where the mouse is on the TV and the pinching toddler seems fairly normal. pictures and TVs are just as artificial a part of out environment as ipads are. For example, there was a recent study on how chimpanzees respond to pictures of chimps they know, and strange chimps. While adult chimps just looked at the pictures, baby chimps sometimes tried to greet them. Do our children become disconnected from reality because of photographs? Pictures and ipads are two different technologies, and both equally the "real world," just s computer screens and TVs are very similar. Asking where the mouse on a TV is would be no different from a person asking where the remote for a computer is. If anything, the toddler who pinched a picture is learning a valuable less that digital things and the "real world" are remarkably different.

crosshairy


quality posts: 0 Private Messages crosshairy
OtakuCODE wrote:

I think people have a 'fear constant' built into their intuition. As we remove more and more things that are actually WORTH being afraid of, people will insist on fearing things for which there is no reason. Those fears are pointless and can be dangerous. "Better safe than sorry" is a lie. Safety, in the way it is interpreted today, leads only to ignorance and developmental handicapping. If something is not 100% PHYSICALLY dangerous, then it has inherent value. It can teach, and give a better idea of what reality is, how it works, etc. As a parent, your job is to HELP your children and to turn them into ADULTS, not simply larger children.



Good stuff! I don't necessarily agree with 100% of the content of your post preceding that paragraph, but I thought the rest of it was particularly insightful.

threeof4


quality posts: 0 Private Messages threeof4
Jason Toon wrote:Thanks for the comment. That's a fascinating story. I have no doubt that tablet use is also good for kids in some ways, both for children on the autism spectrum and otherwise.

My observation is just that in the rush to embrace pretty amazing technology like the iPad, there's a lot of celebration going on of the benefits without much contemplation of the potential drawbacks. The human brain is amazingly adaptive, especially at such a young age. I just hope iPads aren't rewiring kids' brains away from a firm understanding of physical reality.




How long do you think it will take for your child to know walls don't resize when you pinch them???? Please....

mazerrackham


quality posts: 1 Private Messages mazerrackham

I think it will be only a few months until someone comes out with synthetic iPad genitals and we all end up having our iBabies in the cloud anyway.

skyhound


quality posts: 0 Private Messages skyhound

I think the author lacks perspective on how important the iPod and similar technology is. As others have pointed out, to a child it is just another flashy toy to play with. Flashy interactive toys have been around forever.

I think the teacher who responded also lacks perspective. Kids aren't born with adult knowledge. It is her job to teach them, not complain about what they don't already know and blame it on technology.

The real danger parents need to worry about is their child growing up in a paranoid world where he can't ride his bike to school because the media has greatly exaggerated the chance they could be kidnapped. Or not having a swingset on their playground because the school is afraid of a lawsuit. Or not being able to play outside in front of their home because a neighbor called the police to claim the kids were being neglected. All these things are happening and it gets worse every day.

They play with a newfangled electronic device that isn't really all that different from the ones we have already had for years... so what?

xspace


quality posts: 0 Private Messages xspace

I'm sorry, I really can't bring myself to comment respectfully on this. It's about as goofy a "concern" as it gets. Seriously. You're not really worried that iPads are giving kids a distorted sense of reality or any such nonsense. You're just writing filler.

Loot


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Loot

I'm torn on this but have to agree with the evolutionary argument: Our brains have done well for a long, long time without needing electronic baubles to develop properly. While people can easily argue that there is no problem when a parent uses moderation I think that is idealistic a notion as the article was. Parents will flood their children's lives with new technology if they think it will help them develop.
The problem is that, for the most part, television, computers and iPads are passive learning devices. The rules are already set. The kids just have to figure out how to work the devices. This makes them inferior to a set of wood blocks or a pile of twigs in term of brain development. Children need a completely blank slate (particularly very early) so that they can create their own world with its own structure, rules and purpose. This is how humans develop "Executive Function". Go to a local school and watch for a day and you will see what happens when children lack executive function.
Go to work and watch lots of the twenty-somethings at work and you will see the outcome of growing up with deficits in executive function. It looks a lot like AD/HD and is believed by many to be the reason for the massive increase in AD/HD diagnoses.
Television has been shown to be the major culprit in shortening American's attention span. Why should we not proceed with caution when we consider the effects of a new technology on the development of our next generation?

"And if you can't Woot with the one you love, Honey, Woot the one you're with."

c911darkwolf


quality posts: 0 Private Messages c911darkwolf

SO my son is 19 months old. I am a Computer Tech with 2 degrees and 4 certifications. My 19 month old son has his own computer. It's a old Pent 4 with a Childs version of Linux installed.

He can navigate and play videos on his own at 19 months.

He is smart enough that he will pick up one of my screw drivers and try to unscrew the back of the computer i'm working on.

Since computers/ipads/technology is only getting greater and more complex it's great he is learning theses skills.

At age 16 while other kids are working fast food, My son will have the skills to setup small business networks making 4x the salary. (yes not hourly wage, i said salary). If he choose not to work in a computer field like his old man. Then NO matter what his career is he will USE COMPUTERS. Blind old foggeys, who can't understand technology will simply be run over by it. My Eletrical system (ac/stove/refrigerator) is monitored by a PC at my house. Its wired right into our Fusebox. Computers will control more and more, and you should give your child a chance to master them early.

As far as technology 1 blinking light is not different then another. Your picking on computers instead of the other 2 dozen eletronics your child prob owns.

All and all.. my 19 month old son loves more then anything else? Push a plastic grocery cart around the living room picking up his toys and putting it in it..

Children will be amazed by technology, but deep down they will act just like our parents when they were children.. Running, playing, discovering!

threeof4


quality posts: 0 Private Messages threeof4
c911darkwolf wrote:SO my son is 19 months old. I am a Computer Tech with 2 degrees and 4 certifications. My 19 month old son has his own computer. It's a old Pent 4 with a Childs version of Linux installed.

He can navigate and play videos on his own at 19 months.

He is smart enough that he will pick up one of my screw drivers and try to unscrew the back of the computer i'm working on.

Since computers/ipads/technology is only getting greater and more complex it's great he is learning theses skills.

At age 16 while other kids are working fast food, My son will have the skills to setup small business networks making 4x the salary. (yes not hourly wage, i said salary). If he choose not to work in a computer field like his old man. Then NO matter what his career is he will USE COMPUTERS. Blind old foggeys, who can't understand technology will simply be run over by it. My Eletrical system (ac/stove/refrigerator) is monitored by a PC at my house. Its wired right into our Fusebox. Computers will control more and more, and you should give your child a chance to master them early.

As far as technology 1 blinking light is not different then another. Your picking on computers instead of the other 2 dozen eletronics your child prob owns.

All and all.. my 19 month old son loves more then anything else? Push a plastic grocery cart around the living room picking up his toys and putting it in it..

Children will be amazed by technology, but deep down they will act just like our parents when they were children.. Running, playing, discovering!



Amen!

ARCHA1C


quality posts: 0 Private Messages ARCHA1C

Overreaction.

This is no different than "back in the day" when people would see a Television for the first time, and walk around the back to see if the people were behind it.

It's all about perception, and as humans, those children in the anecdotes will certainly grow to be able to distinguish between reality, and the content on their iPads.

To be "worried" or "concerned" about what's happening to "kids these days" should only serve as an indicator that you are, indeed, getting old.