Should the Two-Year-Old Use the iPad?

Getty ImagesMy parochial school is pondering the pros and cons that tablet computers present. The direct (touch) user interface eliminates at least one level of abstraction, making—potentially—for a deeper involvement with the content than print can provide. This, coupled with portability and increased memory, make for some almost magical possibilities.

On the other hand, interaction with LED screens can be dangerous, as Sonia Van Gilder Cooke points out in here October 20, 2011 article on Time.com, “Should Your 2-Year-Old Be Using an iPad?” These are the types of things that families and schools must carefully consider as screen technology more deeply embeds itself in our lives.

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5 thoughts on “Should the Two-Year-Old Use the iPad?

  1. Interesting question. I definitely agree that there are pros and cons to both. One pro to consider is that when it comes to reading, e-readers like the iPad’s capabilities can provide differentiation for instruction in a way that educators don’t have the manpower to provide. Tools like built-in dictionaries improve vocabulary, while text-to-speech apps can improve fluency and comprehension.

  2. Michael G, I want to see more research, but what I have seen gives me pause. My guess–and that’s all it is–is that a very few minutes a day are probably no problem, but the issue that the Ms. Cooke raises is the “babysitting” function that can quickly become 2-3 hours at close proximity to a screen for a very young mind. We may find that such usage for a 2-yr-old is no problem, but I suspect that it will be.

  3. Aditi Rao, that’s exactly the type of thing that makes these appealing to me for educational use. My point in posting the article is that I think we need to be careful and judicious. Thanks for your comment.

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