For Christmas I was a very lucky person. I got some pretty cool gadgets. After loading in my apps and learning about the Cloud, I was faced with a dilemma.
I want the Daughter to be up to date on technology and know how to use a computer and all the other gadgets that are eventually going to become the tools she will use throughout her education. But I am still a little unsure of the best way to do this and still have her benefit from knowing how to use these devices.
A year ago, when my mother got her iPad, she loaded a few educational apps for the Daughter to play with. Needless to say, the Daughter loves playing with Nana’s iPad. Then the Husband got an iPad and he loaded some different apps on to it, all educational, and the Daughter excels at those apps too. So, when she saw my Christmas gift, she wanted to know what apps I would get for her.
I found myself apprehensive. It was my gift wasn’t it? I was being greedy and didn’t want to share. But then I thought about how these apps are built and created to help children read, learn math, learn foreign languages, and so I began my search through the thousands of children’s apps in the App store. After all, I wasn’t going to have the iPad mini welded to my hand was I?
After purchasing a few of them, I have realized that there are benefits from the Daughter using the iPad. She knows how to use it for starters. She can turn it on, find her apps, turn her apps on, find her name/username, and the start of the game. She then can play (most) of the games that are provided for her. She can navigate the screens, type in letters, and take amazing self-portraits (sans that god-awful duck face pose). She is slowly learning to read and write. She is learning basic math skills. She is learning.
So now the dilemma is trying to figure out what the appropriate usage time for this treat. I am thinking that it now becomes part of the allotted television time. If she wants to use the iPad, it comes off that block of time that we usually allow for “her shows.” Even though the iPad has more educational functions, it’s still a screen and it’s still just sitting and looking at a screen.
What do you do with your youngsters and technology? Do you let them use the educational side of it and limit the usage or do you have a different plan of attack when it comes to the new technologies that are eventually going to be a key part of their life?