It is no major surprise that kids in western civilisation have embraced tablet technology as part of their lives. What I am surprised by is that HALF of first-time iPod/iPad users are under the age of 5. Ease of use and entertainment would be a big part in this. Apps are designed to be easy, a touch screen requires basic fine motor skills. So many apps are educational, it’s an exploding market. Kids want one, my own kids like to fling out statements such as ‘everybody has one’ (To which I reply: ‘everybody except you,’ haha — although it is not, of course, literally everybody, it just feels that way…).
I taught in a Special Education unit and the iPad was a fantastic skill for students who did not have the fine motor skills to hold a pen (nor ever will have) yet they could trace their fingertip along a line on the touch screen, which prompted a reaction and reward.
There is no doubt these devices will be amazing tools. I still have qualms, though, for my own kids in this digital generation. I haven’t bought them devices. I am wary of the addiction and reliance and I so want them to enjoy their childhoods outdoors, being creative and not needing to be plugged in all the time. I, myself, do not have a ‘smart’ mobile phone (it just makes calls and sends texts). I want to consciously be in the moment I am in, not wondering what is happening with my friends lives on social media. I have an obsessive personality and I am holding out as long as possible 🙂
With how far mobile technology has come to being an integral part of our daily lives I often wonder what it will look like for the next generation, and the generation after that? I think it is pretty amazing, that we are living in such exciting times (I remember thinking Get Smart’s shoe phone was incredible, lol). I also think I have responsibility to use the devices in such a way that they add quality of life, and not become something that detracts from it.