Monday, March 28, 2011

The iPad Catches them Young

Via The Hindu

Even before stepping out of home, or diapers, way before the first day of kindergarten, or pre-school where they are introduced to the shape of the English alphabet, babies have started using computers.

That's what Steve Jobs has done. He's caught the fancy of a generation that's started to play with the iPad even before they have learned to talk or walk. Well, they can touch and that's all they need to turn on sounds and videos.

Scott - one of the first iPad toddler fans

As a techie friend Ravicharan Mydur says: “My three-year-old Riya's favourite toy these days is the iPad. I'm constantly surprised by how much she learns from it. Just by going through the apps, she has learned to count by herself in at least two languages, she can identify most animals, navigate pages for her favourite nursery rhymes and memorise words and actions in the process. She's also learning to draw and colour and getting in touch with her creative side... If the iPad could change diapers, it would be my hero!”

My first encounter with babies using iPads was when I was visiting a geek friend in Bangalore who has his hands full babysitting his two-year-old son Siddharth and three-year-old daughter Anjali. All he needed to do was take out the iPad and hand it to his daughter and occasionally mediate between the babies as they began to fight to use it.

It was the most incredible sight. Anjali went to the Toy Story read-along app and the app read out the story for her, highlighting the text along with sound and visual so that she knew exactly what the sound looked like and meant.

“I have found that it is the ultimate toy — since it can do so many different things, they don't get bored with it. Other cool toys lose their lure after a few hours of play. For example, my parents bought Sid a battery operated motorcycle that he can actually ride. Sure he was excited for the first few days, but now it sits in a corner of the playroom. The iPad on the other hand, gets played with everyday,” Arvind explains.

“But there is a fine line there that I guess we'd like to hit. Give kids just enough time, put more educational apps on it than games, use it to our advantage when we need them to be distracted but don't do it to the extent that the kid prefers to stay indoors and play on the iPad when he could be playing outside with other kids and physical toys,” he adds.
Read the entire article here.

Image Source : Scott & Elaine van der Chijs

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