What is your take on children learning from electronic gadgets and devices?
Personally, I'm not too eager on the idea. I am totally against my kids staring mindlessly at an electronic screen for hours on end. That is why I refuse to buy a PSP for my kids despite their numerous pestering. I think it is rude and detrimental for children to disengage from everyone and everything around them while immersing themselves totally in a little handheld device. I've seen how a child sits at a dinner table with their parents but their eyes are fixated on that little gadget. Even at social gatherings, I would see a bunch of kids huddled together; one would be playing and the others just watching like they've been hypnotized.
I don't deny there are some benefits to these gadgets. It doesn't have to be mindless games all the time. Some learning activities can be included. Plus, we cannot run away from the fact that being gadget savvy and electronically competent is part of their generation's culture. If we do not give them opportunities to learn and develop those skills, they will be at the disadvantage when they enter the working world.
I give my children time to use the computer but there are limitations. They can only use it in on Fridays and Saturdays. They are given a maximum time of 1 1/2 hours each. Another rule I just imposed is that whatever games they play must not involve violence or destruction. I encourage games that teach them to think, build and create.
I saw on the internet that LeapFrog is going to launch their LeapPad Explorer tablet for kids 25th August 2011. They are now taking pre-orders. To a kid, this looks very interesting. My kids are definitely oogling it. They are going ga-ga that there are over 100 downloadable apps. They are bought on the idea that it is fun to shake it, turn it and flip the pages with the touch screen. Oh, and there is a stylus pen to write with. Take a look and tell me what you think of it.
The learning tablet is targetted for kids ages 4-9. If you have a kid who is unmotivated to learn, I'm sure this will jumpstart their desire. I like how the activities are all learning activities. You can fill up their spare time with spelling, phonics skills, mathematics, science, music, geography, and more. Plus there is a camera and video recorder. It is a valueable skill these days to learn how to create online videos and do photo editing. Plus, if your kid keeps hijacking your iPad, it might be a good idea get them their own. Rather than letting them handle your pricey iPad, let them play with a USD99 kids version of it.
The LeapFrog LeapPad Explorer looks like a good investment to your kids education. BUT I would still make rules before you get it. I'm still thinking whether I should or should not get it. I foresee lots of trouble coz' definitely my kids will all fight to play with it.
What do you think? Is this something you would get your children?