As a new parent it’s always amazing how I start to compare how I would deal with situation if so and so was our child. Over the recent past I have seen so many parents use tablet computers as pacifiers. All I can see is kids playing mindless games such as ‘Angry Bird’.
A recent study carried out by Nielsen suggests that over 50 percent of parents use tablet devices to occupy their children just as a parent may use a pacifier to stop a baby crying. The study also suggests that over 70 percent of the underage tablet users were mainly using it for gaming.
Technology is a tool like any other tool that we may use every day. The only difference is its usage and purpose. For curious young mind, we need to nurture their curiosity. Rather then use the tablets to occupy our children with mindless games that only solve a short-term solution of keeping them quiet and entertained; tablets are a tool if used correctly can have a positive impact on children’s learning.
Similar study carried out by Piper Jaffray suggests that within 5 years tablet devices will outnumber PCs in schools.
Whether we like it or not, tablets are here to stay. They will get more powerful, more responsive and do more then just play games. Tablets in some cases will replace home PCs and in schools replace the conventional sense of a Personal Computer (PC). So we can either learn to use this tool effectively or continue to use as very expensive pacifier.
Here are just a few suggestions of some great Apps suggested by great teachers on the Internet. The full list of Apps suggested by like-minded educators can be found on the Internet via this link:
Toy Story Read-along: Free interactive eBook from Disney. The application can read the story to you with pre-recorded voice or you can pre-record your own voice reading the story. Children also have the opportunity to record their voice whilst reading. A great way of testing Children’s literacy on the go.
iFontMaker: Allows children to create their own font using fingers. It puts a guideline for the shape on screen and you draw your letter over the top.
Dragon Dictation: Fantastic application that allows quick conversion from speech into editable text that can be later copied or sent via e-mail.
Super 7 HD: Practice different math skills by adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing to combine numbers to get a 7. It’s a fun and full of purpose.
QuickVoice: Records sentences and is great to playback the sentence children want to write and count the words out as it plays. Hearing what you want to write becomes easier. This App can be used for various purposes such as recording songs and nursery rhymes.
Finger Count Lite: A simple App that uses the touch screen to sequence numbers. Users touch the screen the numbers in sequence, if you touch a number for the second time, it bursts.
Hairy Letters: A great App for young minds. Allows understanding of letter shapes and sounds.
These are just some of the Apps that are available for the tablet market. With careful research and a process of trial and error, a tablet a day that keeps the children quiet can and should be an educational and purposeful experience.