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These Are Their Tools. So Let’s Deal With It

It seems as though babes using laptops will either turn parents on or off (pardon the pun). And while parents scramble to find the latest gadgets this holiday season, to make the most out of their child's early learning years, some are barking at the notion.

"This generation of parents grew up thinking technology was all positive, so if they see their child looking happy, engaged with what's on the screen, it's very seductive. But a group of toddlers making up a story together is a much richer learning experience than dragging things across a screen to make a story. Children learn best in the context of relationships." (See Baby Touch A Screen. But does baby get it? by Tamar Lewin)

With all of the complaints looming as to why young children (particularly toddlers) shouldn't engage in using some form of electronic media as a learning tool, (for fear it will limit the child's creativity) seems a bit unrealistic. I don't think anyone argues that the more children use the "real" environment to learn, the better off they will be. But fortunately, or unfortunately, with time comes change and these gadgets are quickly becoming the tools of choice; even if the parents are making the decisions. It's somewhat like using a pencil (for lack of a better analogy). 

This may be a stretch…but I'm quite sure Nicolas-Jacques Conté, The Inventor of the Modern Pencil, had his share of naysayers scoffing at the idea of using a Pencil. It's all about Responsible use and the proper way to educate parents and children about the power behind the tools.

-Amy Bowllan