ipad for toddlersThink about the last time you went out to dinner or the mall or anywhere else where there’s a large concentration of families. Did you happen to notice that many children, even toddlers, have their faces glued to a screen? This new development of younger and younger children being introduced to technology has given magazines and websites no shortage of article topics. There is also no shortage of opinions. Some say so much screen time is bad for kids’ social development. Others have pointed to research that shows video games are actually beneficial when it comes to developing cognitive abilities and reaction speeds.

Really, what it comes down to is when and how kids are using their electronic devices. This concern over what screens are doing to our kids isn’t new. There’s are multiple generations of adults who had parents who fretted over how much time they spent in front of the TV everyday. But with iPads and smartphones becoming inescapable, parents should feel relieved that they actually have more control now over the content their children consume. Whereas TV offers few academic options, portable electronic devices can be set up exactly how parents wish.

Parents that are concerned that their children will just watch videos all day with no educational value can easily remedy that situation by installing a wide variety of educational game apps that aren’t very different from the brain teasers of yesteryear. There are plenty of apps and software packages that offer drawing games, find the difference games, and spot the hidden object games. It’s just like sitting down and going through a Highlights for Kids magazine, but brought up to modern expectations. Many parents are choosing to fill their iPads with these types of applications because it gives their children something safe to do whether they’re supervised or not. It’s not uncommon to see parents handing off their iPad to their child when doing tedious things that will try his or her patience. It’s also a great tool to use during quality time when parents are looking to help their children learn. Even toddlers can benefit from the simple touch controls of a tablet based educational game.

We’re already beginning to see schools integrating tablets into the classroom. It’s not hard to see how learning is going to evolve over the next ten years. Today it’s parents using their tablets at home to educate their children. By the next decade, that could become the standard in schools all across the world.

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Eric Regan is a writer with a keen interest in travel, cars and technology. He has written for blogs covering all of these topics and much more

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Think about the last time you went out to dinner or the mall or anywhere else where there's a large concentration of families. Did you happen to notice that many children, even toddlers, have their faces glued to a screen? This new development of younger and younger children being...