Tech Savvy Toddlers
“A Rattle on Steroids”
April 2013’s Atlantic magazine cover story is a fascinating look at parenting in the age of technology. “The Touch-Screen Generation” by Hanna Rosin discusses the controversy surrounding how digital devices like iPads affect very young children’s brain development. The topic can be polarizing, or elicit mixed emotions—even app advocate Warren Buckleitner calls the iPad a “rattle on steroids.”
Looking for the Bright Side
Because iPads have only been around for three years, there aren’t a slew of studies with hard data. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends minimal screen time for children age two and younger in favor of human contact and interactions. However, as Rosin points out, the recommendation appears to be based on passive screen-time; she wonders if the interactive opportunities available through apps might not do harm—and may even prove beneficial.
It’s a timely article and one worth examining, especially if you’re wondering if the parameters you set for your children’s screen time are too restrictive or too lax.
Recommended Web Sites for Kids App Reviews
Apps are a booming market, and the options for kids can be overwhelming. Below are some resources that provide information and reviews of apps for kids.
- A (LONG) List of Recommended Apps – School Library Journal
- Recommended Apps – The Horn Book
- Best Apps for Kids – Common Sense Media
- Children’s Technology Review Web Site
Further Research: Books
For further exploration on technology and brain development, check out Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children From Birth to Age 5 by Lisa Guernsey.
For recommendations for specific devices, check out iPad Apps for Kids for Dummies by Jinny Gudmundsen and The Rough Guide to the Best Android Apps: The 400 Best for Smartphone and Tablets by Andrew Clare.
Photo credit: L-T-L
Karen Choy is the Youth Services Librarian in Half Moon Bay.