Read an interesting article from The Washington Post, “High-tech vs. no-tech: D.C. area schools take opposite approaches to education”
Academics offer mixed responses, depending on their persuasions, on the efficacies of technology on young children.
“Some research shows that software programs such as smartphone applications help improve kids’ vocabulary and math. Children ages 3 to 7 who used an app called Martha Speaks increased their vocabulary by as much as 31 percent in two weeks, according to a 2010 study commissioned by PBS. Some educators say technology allows them to personalize teaching plans and offer free online tutoring, a way to break free from cookie-cutter lessons that don’t resonate with every student. On the other hand, child development experts say children are developing shorter attention spans and multi-tasking too much online — habits that will become more ingrained over time. Technology is changing the way kids learn, too; ideas aren’t as original when cobbled together through Google searches and recycled from opinion blogs, teachers at Waldorf say. And students are increasingly skipping over basic disciplines such as spelling and handwriting — practices that have diminished in importance in the workplace but are still key to wiring the young brain, some child-development experts say.” From Article.
I have given my kids an iPad to explore and my 3 year old loves it. I have given him playdough to play with and he loves it too.
iPad or a lump of dough is a false dilemma. Immerse the kids in both. However, for true benefits, parents must spend time to join in and facilitate the experience in the play with technology and toys.
iPad and dough can never replace you.