Some Discussion Around Children And Tablet Computing
from the good,-bad-or-in-how-you-use-it? dept
David Pogue, over at the NY Times, had a fascinating post last week about the debate that goes through his head concerning children using iPads and other tablet/smartphone devices. He worries that his son is too engrossed in using it, but the more he works through the issue, he begins to realize that maybe it's not as big a problem as he originally thought, and it's not necessarily the same thing as plopping a kid in front of a TV -- which many people agree is probably not the best idea:
What makes my feelings on this subject even more complicated is that, in general, my 6-year-old isn't playing mindless video games. He's not allowed to play shoot-'em-ups or violent games at all. Instead, he's encouraged to play creative apps -- and most of the time, he does.He goes on to note that we shouldn't just assume that something is "bad" for kids because it's electronic, and that perhaps use in moderation makes plenty of sense. This is something I've been thinking about a lot as well, as a father, in trying to figure out what's appropriate technology-wise for my kid to use.
[...] Come on, how can apps like that be bad for a kid? Is it really that much different from playing with paper cutouts? Or blocks? Or a toy drum set?
When he does play games, he favors thinking games like Cut the Rope (a clever physics-based puzzle game) or Rush Hour (strategy puzzles). Heck, even Angry Birds involves some thinking. You have to plan ahead and calculate and use resources wisely.
In the old days, we used to tut-tut about how much TV kids watched -- but parents usually made an exception for educational shows like "Sesame Street" and "Between the Lions." How is this any different? Shouldn't we make exceptions for creative and problem-solving apps?
So, with that, it seemed like a perfect opportunity when SAYMedia, along with Microsoft, approached us about participating in a new "conversational" campaign they're running, getting people discussing what are the best ways for parents to use tablets with kids. As you may see on the website directly, we have a unit between the first and second story, which is a "conversational" unit, that lets you input your own thoughts on the topic, in order to get some wider ideas. Beyond the general interest in the topic, we were interested in experimenting with this type of campaign, because (as we've stated for years), we like to see what happens when you build "marketing" or "ad" campaigns that aren't one-directional, but which really involve communities, and really involve getting their thoughts on things. We hope some of you will also find it worthwhile to participate in this discussion -- and let us know your own thoughts on the role of such technology in the lives of kids. Thanks for participating.