rayray099


quality posts: 6 Private Messages rayray099
rjtroester wrote: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.



^This. They're so susceptible at this age, they need outside interaction like they need nurturing from us.
My brother was home schooled, and this is different, yes, but now that he's college level and failed his last two terms, I can't help but see the paraelles. In his case he was moslty 'sheltered'; he'd rather spend his days locked away in his room playing vid games than mingling. It's drving my parents crazy. Where did they go wrong? He's smart, and once he gets involved in a project there doesn't seem to be a problem; it's scrounging up the motivation to get him involved that seems to be the problem. He has zero drive bc he doesn't feel he's missing anything. I think he missed out on basic social/life lessons just bc he didn't ride the school bus on a daily basis. Oh the things you learn on the public school bus.
I just think outside interaction, whether it be with others or by using the imagination, is really important, esp during that crucial time of development. He's grown up with computers and video games. I think Jason asks viable questions here.

mollysummer


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mollysummer
sugarpike wrote:That was MY first thought as well - "A necklace on an infant??? What are they thinking? Major choking hazard!"



It's an amber teething necklace. They're not designed to be worn unsupervised, of course but are designed for babies. http://www.teethingtips.com/amber-teething-necklaces/

MasterYogurt


quality posts: 7 Private Messages MasterYogurt
bsmith1 wrote: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".



If your goal is to have students throw you a collection of facts, wikipedia and ctrl-f in Google Books is great. If you actually want to learn and understand things, you have to read. If your goal is to make people intelligent, not simply teach them to copy-paste facts that they'll forget, books are critical.

I'm a grad student and use books (yeah, the things with PAGES) constantly. I have a Kindle and love it for light reading and fiction. For the sort of sustained study of texts, however, nothing beats a real book.

Yes, there's a huge difference between reading a book and simply searching through it for the one fact you need and discarding the rest. Efficiency isn't the only standard the world should run on.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
xspace wrote: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.


Certainly that's the agreed default assumption, but touchscreen interaction is enough of a progression to at least expect this conversation to exist. When it does not, it's worth a brief pause.

If you don't agree today, consider it a practice concern for the future neuromancer dystopia we're blazing ahead to without a second thought. Someday this topic will be relevant in the same way we prohibit today's kids from immersion in porn and violence.

Snapster


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Snapster
mollysummer wrote:It's an amber teething necklace. They're not designed to be worn unsupervised, of course but are designed for babies. http://www.teethingtips.com/amber-teething-necklaces/


good god now I find it tenfold more disgusting. new-age commercialism that might just kill your baby.

partzispartz


quality posts: 3 Private Messages partzispartz

Experts in child psychology and development have been warning us for several decades about the too-early introduction of technology. Why? Because the best way to form a fresh mind is with Creative Play. Not by responding to some programming team's idea of how a story/game evolves or how information should be presented. The best toys for young kids are ones that stimulate the world inside their head. Blocks. Lincoln Logs. Lego. The problem with early introduction of "technology" is that it puts limits on what is possible. Take a look around at our society in the U.S., what is valued by people and what brings true value to us as a nation. The unbridled silicon techno-revolution of the past 30 years has done us no favor when it comes to our youngest assets and what they grow up to become. It's not inherently evil, it's just misused.

Jason Toon


quality posts: 19 Private Messages Jason Toon

I'll add only one question to consider: are American children smarter, more capable, and healthier since the introduction of television?

NemmyX


quality posts: 0 Private Messages NemmyX
griffyndor wrote: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.



Well said.

bsmith1


quality posts: 101 Private Messages bsmith1
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.
...



Geeze. No pressure, kid. Good luck living up to daddy's expectations! ;)

knghthwk99


quality posts: 0 Private Messages knghthwk99

There most notable problem with your comparision is that all of the toys that you mentioned teach a child cause and effect, a critial skill. When pinching a picture on an iPad, there is a cause-and-effect lesson, but it does not apply to day-to-day interaction with the environment as the others do. As far as "our otherwise boring environment" - this statement begs the question: when is the last time you went out and actually interacted with the environment? I'm a system administrator, and I don't let my children touch video games or computers yet. Instead, I take them outside and point out the ant carrying something larger than itself, or how easily the birds fly around, or the growing flowers all around. Our environment is only boring if we fail to actually experience it.

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. 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!



turboanima


quality posts: 0 Private Messages turboanima

"Paranoid" is the wrong word here. Instead I feel that this post was written with healthy skepticism as to the advantages of children using the ipad. This sort of questioning spirit is essential to ensure that progress is made.

With that said, I'm less concerned with a toddler pinching at a glossy image and being disappointed at the outcome; the toddler is doing what makes sense given his schema: there's an image, it's glossy, and generally when I pinch another glossy image it'll move or re-size. On a very basic level the toddler is bright because s/he recognizes what s/he feels is a pattern and acts on it.

The concern, then, seems to be that the toddler was wrong, but this too seems like a silly thing to get upset about. Toddlers are wrong ALL the time. That's how humans learn, we recognize what we think is a pattern, turn it into an assumption, and act based on that assumption. When we're wrong we may or may not get upset, but eventually we figure it out. Put that same toddler in front of the same image and eventually s/he will figure it out and not try to pinch things that are "ipad-esque" anymore.

I feel that the job of a parent is to encourage the exploration of the world (including the digital one) and serve as an anchor/mentor to explain why certain patterns don't repeat themselves (or why they do). That's what we've done for thousands of years, and that's what we'll continue to do, regardless of what sorts of toys and innovation we create along the way.

Waj


quality posts: 2 Private Messages Waj

mollysummer wrote:
It's an amber teething necklace. They're not designed to be worn unsupervised, of course but are designed for babies. http://www.teethingtips.com/amber-teething-necklaces/

Snapster wrote:good god now I find it tenfold more disgusting. new-age commercialism that might just kill your baby.



I thought the same thing when my wife bought one of them for my daughter. In my case it really seemed to work, hard to argue it. My brother said it worked for his daughter too. Whether or not it actually does anything, but I believe it does something.

mattandkateri


quality posts: 0 Private Messages mattandkateri

I think the thing we are missing in this discussion is not what technology will do to our children but what we know for sure it cannot do. It cannot "interact" no matter how "interactive" it is. Social skills are a number 1 indicator for school success. Time spent interacting with technology is time not spent figuring out how to interact with real people (a far more complex task for sure) It is not that Iproducts, tvs, pcs, video games, battery operated toys.... etc are "bad" it is that they are not "good". Yes, a child may get very good at using technology but it is cause and effect and does not lead to higher level play or learning at a young age (under 3). Even things that are promoted as educational are entertainment or memorization at best.( see - http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/39953918/ns/today-money/) Creative play and human interaction are crucial to the developing mind and skill sets of a child and technology no matter how cool and innovative has nothing on time spent playing with mom and dad!

joia


quality posts: 1 Private Messages joia
Snapster wrote:good god now I find it tenfold more disgusting. new-age commercialism that might just kill your baby.



Call it what you want, but my 10 month old has 3 teeth now and hasn't cried or whined a bit popping them through - and within two hours of putting his amber necklace on, his chin was dry for the first time in MONTHS.

It goes well with his cloth diapers and homemade baby food - the other things I do to try to kill my baby.

merricktsaimd


quality posts: 0 Private Messages merricktsaimd

I personally have no problems with technology and my children don't either. I'm perfectly comfortable allowing my two daughters, who are now nearing 3 and 5 using all the available technology out there, up and including the iPad. My eldest who is now nearing 5 has been using with great proficiency my old iPhones and old iPad without any observed developmental issue. In fact, developmentally, she's more advanced than the average 5 year old and it is a great learning tool!
She was able to figure out how to use my 1st generation iPhone from 2007 to just scroll and look at pictures of herself in the photo album app at age 1. Over the years, she's figured out how to watch YouTube and play music and pre-loaded videos. She inherited my iPhone using it as an iPod touch. She loves to free-paint in paint/drawing apps. She's learned to listen to stories, read, peform simple math like addition/subtraction and even trace letters, all learned from the iPad with parental guidance. I feel bad for all the overprotective parents who feel technology will turn their kids into zombies or whatever. My youngest daughter who is nearing 3 is also quite proficient herself and following in her sister's exploratory steps, knows all the colors, numbers (1-10) in 3 languages, alphabets, shapes and able to recite nursery rhymes and nursery songs.
Now I suppose we can chalk all this up to genetics, since both my wife and I are physicians, however, I'd like to think that the Apple products had some positive contributions to the rapid development of my daughters. My only fear is my eldest who is due to enter kindergarten in the fall, is going to actually be bored, since she may know all the K-5 stuff well in advance. I may have to look into options for advance placement.

I've read a lot of the previous comments and everyone just assumes the child will sit mindlessly in front of the tablet and lose out on social interaction. My kids actually use the iPad to ask questions and ask for assistance from me or my wife when they encounter something that is intriguing or quite curious. This is the prime opportunity for myself as a parent to actually parent and teach. I think the iPad is a great tool, but as a supplement, not replacement for good instruction/parenting. Just like any other "tool", it is how you use that "tool" that determines if it is an actual benefit or detriment.

marymo81


quality posts: 0 Private Messages marymo81

To lynnpreston and everyone else concerned about the necklace: I realize someone else may have already explained the necklace, but I did't read all the comments because I have some reality I have to go deal with.

It is an amber teething necklace. My daughter wears one every day. And by teething, I don't mean it's for them to chew on - it is made of Baltic amber which is said to release a substance into your body that acts as an analgesic to relieve teething pain, rather than giving them drugs. It is a remedy that has been used for centuries. It is also supposed to be short enough that they can't pull it up over their chin to get it in their mouth. Each bead is individually knotted so that if it breaks, the beads stay put and it is meant to break if there is enough tension (like a cat's collar) so it does not choke the child. And if parents can keep themselves away from their ipads, computers and other assorted tech long enough to pay attention to their child, then it is perfectly safe.

pointmass


quality posts: 0 Private Messages pointmass
ARCHA1C wrote: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.



AMEN TO THAT!
Kids have all sorts of misconceptions of the real world as they grow up and work things out. For instance, object permanence is a concept that has to be learned (that something doesn't cease to exist when it goes out of sight). If you took the time to read about developmental psychology and then observe your child's development, you would be able to recognize the kinds of misconceptions we humans have as we go about the process of growing up. Discerning the difference between technology and the real world is just a part of this, and by the time the kid is old enough to do any real disservice to himself or the world he will most likely have moved past these misconceptions (given the absence of developmental disorders).

adorabrooke


quality posts: 1 Private Messages adorabrooke

I agree. We need to develop their motor skills, but I think as long as the babies/kids are getting a healthy dose of physical development toys as well as a bit of iPad & iPhone fun that they will be well rounded. Keep in mind we all got things our parents didn't have when they were babies. We are an ever adapting animal. Their are also great benefits to Autistic children using these devices, & being able to express themselves in ways they never could before.

threemoons


quality posts: 18 Private Messages threemoons

Tardy to the party here, but here's my 2c:

I'm, um, old enough to be the (albeit young) Mom of many of the very young, fresh-out-of-school 20-somethings at my new gig.

I've been using computers since I was 8 (took a BASIC course at local community college for gifted/talented kiddies and plonked away on a TRS-80). Been on the Intertubes since 1985 (very good science program at my HS, we had a hardwire out to a local weather station up the street).

I was very lucky to have used computers from the line-command age up thru early number-driven monochrome GUIs all the way up to today. I've seen the embryonic forms of pretty much every major business software program out there, and I've had lessons in basic circuitry and electronics all through my education (and thank you Ghost of Radio Shacks of Xmas/Chanukkas Past for all of the home-breadboard kits and whatnot).

Result: I AM the geek on the floor in white-collar job I've ever had. IT loves me because when I call them it's because of some asinine lockout that I need their Magic Admin Remote Login to fix that I could have done myself if I wasn't locked out, or something is Physically Broken and Needs Replacing (like when an over-enthusiastic cleaning staff ripped out my monitor cable and bent the pins in doing so). My boss--an MIT grad who also went into management--is the same way, and he totally "gets" technology.

My younger co-workers however...that's a different story. You'd think that since they grew up immersed in technology they'd have some idea about how it works. WRONG.

If something goes wrong with any of their devices, and a reboot doesn't fix it, they're lost. If they get an error on an application that's not "in the script" or a help menu, they're lost. No idea what a corrupt file is or may even be, no idea of info caching (and how to dump said cache to get rid of corrupted nasties), and so on. They think I'm some kind of wizard for knowing how to fix things and even SET THINGS UP even when some documentation is given--they don't even know how to follow basic setup instructions with pictures.

Last night, I had the pleasure of running into an acquaintance whom I used to see more in a former life--first time I'd talked to him in about 10 years. He'd gone on to get the academic bio-research position he'd been chasing, and I happened to have my new iPad with me, which he commented on when he saw me. This lead to a discussion that lead me to respond to this thread; it was sort of the same idea.

His takeaway was that technology is now "something that other people fix" and not something that we are expected to know the inner workings of ourselves. In his view, it's like the new, sealed-box, overly digitized fridges, microwaves, cars, and so forth.

Unfortunately, ignorance of computers leaves one open to all kinds of exploits that not knowing the inner workings of your freezer's ice machine does not.

So, I guess my comment/answer in this long, roundabout way would be a) Don't give them technology too early and when you do, b) make sure that you give them some idea how it works, and don't have them trust in any of it 100%.

threemoons


quality posts: 18 Private Messages threemoons
random troll wrote:I thought this was about toddlers. They're learning to do things like poop at the right time, not how to recompile their kernel.

You should start your own blog and tell the world how cool you are and how dumb the people around you are. It'll be really popular!



Um, thanks for missing the point of my post.

2 posts in 2 years and one of them is a flame. Nice.

Why don't you start your own blog filled with two-line flames of other people's blogs? It'll be really popular!


Oh, and RE amber teething necklaces--see this for some light on the woo...

http://alphamom.com/parenting/baby/amber-teething-necklaces-helpful-or-hype/

tweakz


quality posts: 0 Private Messages tweakz

What happened when kids were showed that traversing by horse at a young age?
What happened when kids found that a switch on the wall would turn on the lights?
What happened when kids found that you could get an a metal tube with wings and fly?
What happened.....ect. ect. ect.

I mean really your point is moot.

It's called advancement and these kids will advance the technology further some day. Dumb Artical...

Looking for love in all the wrong places.

cjmel


quality posts: 0 Private Messages cjmel

While I agree too much tech isn't good for toddlers, it's been discovered that many autistic children are very skilled at using touch screens--something we first became aware of when my 5 year old autistic granddaughter picked up her daddy's smart fone, chose and began playing a video game--which she had apparently learned how to do by watching her 4 yr old computer-savvy sister do it. When he asked her specialist about it, he said this was a phenomenon that they were becoming more aware of, perhaps indicating that autistic chidren "see" better in 2D than in 3. They're researching this. What a great breakthrough that could be for communication especially for the children who are nonverbal!
As to anecdotes--I gave the younger granddaughter a birthday card that had polka-dots as part of the design. She kept punching the dots, looked puzzled, then told her dad, "These buttons don't work!"

partzispartz


quality posts: 3 Private Messages partzispartz

I can't stand it anymore...

Tech is fine when used appropriately - any kind of tech. The problem with half the Lusers in this comment series is that they don't know what appropriate parenting is, and expect tech to be the surrogate babysitter while ignoring the far better return from time spent in valuable parent-child / child-child interactions and creative play with dolls, blocks, etc.

Babies don't belong in front of TVs, monitors, pads, or other drone-boxes of any type.

As for not knowing how to fix things, the real issue is knowing when your information/motor vehicle/anything-invented-after-1850 appliance isn't working correctly and understanding enough to know if it's repairable. The problem is we've created multiple generations of consumer-disposable-oriented users. My car brakes don't work right --- time to get a new car!!! My refrigerator compressor broke --- time to get a new refrigerator!!! My computer is slow --- time to get a new computer!!! My baby isn't exactly like the TV show says she should be --- time to go to the doctor!!!

Common sense, unfortunately, is not.

partzispartz


quality posts: 3 Private Messages partzispartz
tweakz wrote:What happened when kids were showed thattraversing by horse at a young age?
What happened when kids found that a switch on the wall would turn on the lights?
What happened when kids found that you could get an a metal tube with wings and fly?
What happened.....ect. ect. ect.

I mean really your point is moot.

It's called advancement and these kids will advance the technology further some day. Dumb Artical...



Hey tweakz, congratulations, you're the new poster child for arguing against tech in education. Your spelling is beyond belief. Your sentence structure is abysmal. Too bad in all of your advanced use of technology you never learned about dictionaries, spell-checkers, or how to write complete sentences. Fortunately I'm smarter than you and was able to understand your message despite its entirely garbled nature. Come back to the discussion after you pass 6th grade English.

kestrel404


quality posts: 0 Private Messages kestrel404

Speaking as a parent who's 2 year old uses an iPad on a daily basis, I'm just going to say that you've got it completely backwards. I gave my wife an iPad when our daughter was about 14 months old. Needless to say, she was completely fascinated by it. Of course, we watched her constantly while she used it for most of a year, teaching her that this was not a toy and that she couldn't pick it up or hit it (doing so got it taken away for the rest of the day immediately, and she got the idea very quickly).

We bought a couple of apps that were recommended as good developmental programs for toddlers. One that showed a picture of an animal, and spoke the name of the animal and played a recording of the animal's sound when it was touched. Another app that does a bunch of letter, color and counting games. And Netflix.

By the time she was 18 months old, my daughter could turn on the ipad, choose the application she wanted (even if it was on a different page of icons), and start playing. And if she wanted to watch TV? She didn't point at the TV, she turned on the iPad, chose Netflix, and chose the show she wanted to watch!

Now, she's two and a half, and while she's not using the iPad every day, it's still what she uses when she wants to watch a specific show, or play her spelling games, or play angry birds. But off the iPad, does she have problems?

She can use the touch-pad mouse on my laptop. She has swim classes and gymnastics classes. and she loves them. She plays with blocks, building towers and knocking them down. Her hand-eye coordination is at least as good as any other 2 year old's, her recognition of things/colors/numbers is pretty much perfect (you name something for her once, and she gets it immediately), and her vocabulary is above 400 words and she speaks in complete sentences. At 30 months. Go, look that up.

My experience is just anecdotal, I might just have an atypically bright child. Or it could be that an interactive media device with an interface simple enough for a 1 year old child to learn is a really good teaching tool. Just saying.

hurricanechelsea


quality posts: 1 Private Messages hurricanechelsea

Well, the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn't recommend *any* screen time at all before the age of two, so I'd say it's a problem. I don't know anyone else who follows that recommendation, though, unfortunately, and everyone thinks I'm ridiculous for not letting my 13-month-old play on the computer or watch TV, but whatever.

And as others have mentioned, the necklace is an amber teething necklace. Supposedly they release succinic acid into the body which is supposed to relieve teething pain-- unfortunately the melting point for amber is well above body temperature, so even if succinic acid does anything, an amber necklace is not the way to go about it. Also, I don't understand why nobody gets concerned about strangulation, or the fact that even if *one* bead comes lose, the child could choke. It's magical thinking at best, and really pretty dangerous.

Spiky


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Spiky
partzispartz wrote:Experts in child psychology and development have been warning us for several decades about the too-early introduction of technology. Why? Because the best way to form a fresh mind is with Creative Play. Not by responding to some programming team's idea of how a story/game evolves or how information should be presented. The best toys for young kids are ones that stimulate the world inside their head. Blocks. Lincoln Logs. Lego. The problem with early introduction of "technology" is that it puts limits on what is possible. Take a look around at our society in the U.S., what is valued by people and what brings true value to us as a nation. The unbridled silicon techno-revolution of the past 30 years has done us no favor when it comes to our youngest assets and what they grow up to become. It's not inherently evil, it's just misused.



No, that's not why it's dangerous. It's dangerous because human parents have let technology like the TV substitute for parenting. If the parents use the iPad as a parenting tool, it will be useful. If they dump it on a toddler and let the iPad parent the kid, it will become a problem.

hamric


quality posts: 0 Private Messages hamric

My 2 year old has been playing w an iPad for several months now. He has learned many, many things - he isnbarely 2 and he knows the alphabet, numbers, how to spell his name, can do puzzles amazingly fast...on and on. I would say the iPad is one of the greatest learning tools for a toddler and even younger. Get real.

vmarks


quality posts: 0 Private Messages vmarks
griffyndor wrote:I am a teacher and I really worry that all the technology is doing them a disservice.



Funny, I worry that education in the way it's administered does our children a disservice. See: Ken Robinson http://comment.rsablogs.org.uk/2010/10/14/rsa-animate-changing-education-paradigms/


"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."

Covering how to research and determine the validity or credibility of a source was still taught when I was in school, before the internet existed. I don't see it as time-consuming, but a necessary lesson the importance of which has only increased.

"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."

But this happens anyway as students grow older. To blame it on the plethora of media available is only one possible cause. The other is, children not reading enough when they're younger. Fortunately, there are plenty of books available on the iPad - it's not just a video or interactive games machine. That is, it is what parents make of it.

"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."

In other words, the same as it has been for decades. You have to set your expectations higher, and show how to reach beyond the example provided. Depending on the child, age, and a class as a whole, students respond when you demand more of them and they can see that it's not just to keep them busy or bore them.

"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."

We have a Wii, which we use primarily for Wii sports and Wii balance board games. It's a great way to teach turn taking indoors, and they have improved their balance while skiing on TV.

We tried an XBox360 with Kinect in the hopes of improving understanding of cause and effect and spatial awareness. ("I move my arms and the screen copies my movement!" was what we had hoped for.) It didn't work out, due to the difficulty we had in getting Kinect to see 5 year olds. Size of room, height of sensor, height of children were a factor.

We have two iPads, one for each child. They have been everything from guides to trace letters on (iWriteWords), to Grimm's Fairy Tales (with images, and without.) We have an MP3 player for one of the children, who uses it for therapeutic listening, which has improved her ability to concentrate on a task at hand.

We don't limit either child's time on the iPad. And yet, on Sunday morning as I sit typing this, they're sitting on the floor playing with clothespins that have numbers of dots on each one, and matching them to arabic numerals, speaking about imaginary cats and bumblebees.

The point being, there are lessons in everything. It is how you use what's available that makes a difference. One of my children knows how to speak, knows how to read, write and spell in part due to the iPad, and in other parts due to her teachers, SLP, and OT. She still surprises us and her teachers with her ability to correctly spell words we haven't taught her at all.

When you open with "I am a teacher," and state your belief that technology is ruining students for learning, you're making the fallacious argumentum ad verecundiam - appeal to authority. That is, because you're a teacher, we must not question your authority on the matter. I, too, was a teacher. If I were teaching today, I would equip every one of my students with an iPad, as has been done at the http://ipadacademy.com/2010/11/going-one-to-one-with-ipads-learning-on-the-leading-edge

Cathleentownsend


quality posts: 0 Private Messages Cathleentownsend

My ipad was the best tool I could have introduced into my daughter's life. When she wasn't speaking, or repeating, I worried that she might have a hearing problem, so some other issue, but almost immediately after introducing the ipad to her, and some of the terrific educational tools that are offered, her vocabulary sky-rocketed. She is two years old and she recognizes, and can name the animal sounds of more animals then even I knew before now, her reasoning skills are amazing, she recognizes all the letters of the alphabet, can count to 20 in english, and 10 in spanish, and word association and recognition are as good as many four year olds we know. The thing is, the world is changing, as it always does. Keeping a child from learning the technology that everyone else is using will only handicap them in the real world. I say give your child every tool, every advantage you can. I use the ipad in conjunction with classes and playgroups and she is well socialized, physically active, and has a great grip on reality. I am so glad something so great as the ipad came along!

rcastro0


quality posts: 1 Private Messages rcastro0

I know it is ridiculous to log in just to tell you that, but I had to: you worry too much. There is absolutely no point worrying about it.

Did VCRs make you think you could pause reality when you were a kid? Did electric light make your grandparents think they could turn the sun on and off? Did the first primitive who created the fishing rod and hook worry that his kids would think they could use it to hunt ducks with?

Oh come on... you do worry too much...

phantom240


quality posts: 4 Private Messages phantom240
ARCHA1C wrote:

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.



I'm only 23, and I worry about the "kids these days". So many times in a week do I literally facepalm at their uselessness. They're such babies.

angerbender


quality posts: 48 Private Messages angerbender

when I was a kid, I used to load my own tapes into the VCR. I had a whole selection of different worlds to enter by watching the videos. I actually thought each tape was an alternate universe. By the time I was sixteen, I was in therapy. They spent years trying to convince me that it wasn't real. That the real world was not inside a VHS tape. I did get over it...mostly. But sometimes I think that they were mistaken. Maybe we are all in a big VHS cassette. How would we know otherwise?

but seriously, I agree with Jason Toon. Instead of the iPad, I recommend the Viewsonic g-tablet over at moofi/deliciouswaffles. My kids [ages 3 and 13] use android devices and I bought one for my wife one from moofi last week. Also, I use a home theater PC so our TV does indeed have a mouse.

nelvinboy


quality posts: 1 Private Messages nelvinboy

This discussion reminds me of a funny anecdote involving console gaming. My youngest son was first introduced to classic Super Mario Brothers on Wii after playing games mainly on the Wii. He was frustrated for the first couple of minutes because he kept trying to make Mario jump by jerking the controller. He would have figured it out sooner if we had helped him, but I'm ashamed to admit that we were laughing too hard.

In all seriousness though, I think the entire subject of the conversation is slightly off-topic and somewhat limited in scope. The original article in Wired is inspired by anecdotes similar to the one I related above. However, in both my story and in the examples there, some of the idiosyncrasies that the children experience are older technologies (original 8-bit Nintendo Famicom game, or photography) viewed through the lens of more advanced technology (Nintendo Wii, or touch-screen device).

I think the question is better phrased "Are iPads Good for Us? Is Technology Good for Us?"

There is a deep-running archetype here that spans millennia and is surfacing more frequently in the human psyche. Most of us realize that we are increasingly becoming detached from the "natural" world and the risks that are inherent in this detachment. The oldest story that I know relating to this idea concerns the Tower of Babel. In my view, the story concerns a technological achievement or at least a technological goal and the risks inherent in realizing the achievement. These issues are discussed from various perspectives and outlooks in the life and works of various individuals ranging as far as from Albert Einstein to Ray Kurzweil to Plato (oral vs. written tradition). These ideas are explored in numerous science fiction and fantastic works - most directly in some of the Star Trek and Star Trek TNG episodes.

Aside from trying to broaden the perspective, there are only a few things that I feel that I can add to the discussion.

1. In general, young children are better at learning about, understanding, and coping with these dis-congruences in there environments than are adults; the kids brains seem to be wired for it.

2. As much as possible, hope for the best and prepare for the worst.

3. I'm very glad that my kids know how to read and love to read and have a general thirst for knowledge that comes along with a love of reading.

4. I'm glad that I earned my wilderness survival merit badge and that my children are getting some of the same exposure to the rough elements that my father foisted upon me.

--- Jon

KajoliT


quality posts: 0 Private Messages KajoliT

Excellent Article
We know a lot about neuroplasticity now
The Brain really is plastic
"Neurons that fire together wire together "– example a 90 year old brain that takes lessons to play the violin will start to change their brain - which is why all individuals are capable of doing a lot more then what their initial capacity appeared to be
I think we really do need to think about the impact this is having on young children and even us
http://drycappucino.blogspot.com/

Spiky


quality posts: 16 Private Messages Spiky
angerbender wrote:
but seriously, I agree with Jason Toon. Instead of the iPad, I recommend the Viewsonic g-tablet over at moofi/deliciouswaffles. My kids [ages 3 and 13] use android devices and I bought one for my wife one from moofi last week. Also, I use a home theater PC so our TV does indeed have a mouse.


So, your solution to the potential problems that could develop from the iPad's smooth, sexy interface making real life seem drab is to....buy the kids crappy tablets, instead? Good move, they probably won't want to use them as much, and therefore will just play outside.

SmilingBoognish


quality posts: 46 Private Messages SmilingBoognish

I don't think iPads are any scarier than computers. The real concern for me as a parent is the internet. It is a wonderful and dangerous thing.

rjtroester


quality posts: 1 Private Messages rjtroester
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.



While I'm sure we're all super impressed by your credentials, how does any of this make you a good parent or more importantly, an expert on parenting? I'm not suggesting you are a bad parent but a bunch of experience with computers doesn't equate to knowing what's best for child rearing. It just means you know a lot about computers. Good for you.

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).



So your logic says - let my kid play with computers = they'll work in networking = loads of cash? Just because your kid has exposure to computers now doesn't mean he'll be a whiz with them when he grows up. Maybe he will, maybe he won't. I just hope he doesn't turn out to be arrogant and condescending or he'll have a tough time finding a job period.

For everyone that keeps throwing out the "paranoid" card here, you're completely missing the point of this post. The point is since technology today is exponentially different than when we were kids and since technology advances exponentially, we really can't say with certainty what the long term effects will be on our kids as we expose them to technology earlier and earlier in life. Even those who are experts in the fields of child psychology and early childhood development can't possibly know what this will mean for the future. It's not about paranoia, it's about asking questions of the unknown.

eagledrew05


quality posts: 0 Private Messages eagledrew05

this is why my kids make their own toys out of string and wood. when the power goes out and all your ipads and computers die, my kids are still going to have fun playing chess with the pieces they had the joy of making with their own hands.

werikblack


quality posts: 1 Private Messages werikblack
griffyndor wrote: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.



This is absolutely not true. A friend of mine's 9-year-old son, who I've spent a significant amount of time with, was a struggling reader a year and a half ago, and now he's reading 1000-page novels (Eragon series, Percy Jackson, etc.) as fast as we can buy them. He's very athletic, but his mom encourages reading in addition to outdoor activities.

Blaming computers is like blaming TV was when I was a kid for rotting our brains. I grew up in a rural community where I was reading all the time, and I caught a lot flak for it from classmates (which didn't stop me). I can't think of more than a couple of kids in every hundred who had read a novel on their own (or at all) prior to graduation. My high school was very athletics-centered, and parents pushed in that direction instead as if it was mutually exclusive with reading. They were brought up that way, and the culture was passed down to their kids.