We decided to give the iPad as a family gift to each of our three children. Writing about this decision here will not spoil the surprise because we told them to prevent them from making the same purchase for a spouse.
We decided to purchase this gift after watching the young children in two of the families interact with one of our iPads. If you have an iPad and doubt the persuasiveness of such experiences, find a young child, purchase a few appropriate apps and just watch. There is something about how the intuitiveness of the interface encourages exploration that is difficult to describe. I am not certain how young this goes, but preschool children seem to know what to do – touch stuff and see what happens.
I know not everyone agrees with involving you children with technology. I wrote about this years ago because a close high school friend of mine wrote a book arguing against technology for young children. I wonder what he would think watching kids exploring an iPad. When you manipulate something with your hands does that make a difference?
Others are commenting on iPads and different age groups. Here is an article on young children on iPads and here is another I encountered focused on centenarians on iPads (iPhone). Quite an age difference but the functionality seems to be obvious in both cases.
BTW – I don’t claim to have a professional opinion on this issue and I realize that the attentiveness of young children does not guarantee that the experiences to which they are attending are good for them. I am guessing there are PhD students working as I write to understand this phenomenon.
We gave the newly married daughter an iPad too. We are equal opportunity tech providers.
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