Friday, November 28, 2014

Tablets replacing Toys

My wife is a nurse and often she comments how parents come into the office with two or three children all engrossed in their tablets. Question is, is this good or bad? I watch my nephew, who has two children ages 7 and 3, using tablets, and it becomes a very interesting question. The 7 year old is using the tablet for math homework, the math is like a game and often she asks if she can do just one more math problem. How can that be bad? I think we all have to admit; in that scenario, it certainly is not bad, but a positive. So why not let our children escape into the cyber world where they are entertained, educated and baby sat? I'm sure you have already made-up your own opinion, but we need to consider the pro's and con's. We've already talked about some of the Pro's; homework made into a game for education. So what are the Con's? A child's mind is learning at an amazing rate during this time of life. The synopsis nerves are forming quickly and the brain is very sensitive to input at this time. One element we are not considering is the one dimensionality of the video game or learning from the computer screen. As discussed in this article (5 facts about your child's brain), part of the learning process needs movement and interaction with a three dimensional world. The brain learns by repetition, this means the more time we spend in one activity, the better we get at it. So how much time we are spending on one or another item, as a child, is going to have a great effect on the rest of our lives. So the tablet as a tools is not a bad thing unless we allow it too much time. A time limit should always be set on any particular activity a child is doing, to encourage other forms of input. This includes Television and even those areas of play we consider positive elements such as exercise. Balancing time is an important part of our adult lives, that can be taught to a child, with the tools we have, including the use of tablets. Links on how the brain learns