“Rising numbers of infants lack the motor skills needed to play with building blocks because of an ‘addiction’ to tablet computers and smartphones, according to teachers,” Graeme Paton reports for The Telegraph. “Many children aged just three or four can ‘swipe a screen’ but have little or no dexterity in their fingers after spending hours glued to iPads, it was claimed. Members of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers also warned how some older children were unable to complete traditional pen and paper exams because their memory had been eroded by overexposure to screen-based technology.”

“The comments were made after Ofcom figures showed the proportion of households with tablet computers more than doubled from 20 to 51 per cent last year,” Paton reports. “Experts have warned that the growth is having a serious effect on children’s social and physical development. Last year, a doctor claimed that rising numbers of young people – including one aged just four – required therapy for compulsive behaviour after being exposed to the internet and digital devices from birth.”

“The ATL backed plans to draw up new guidance to be issued to teachers and parents showing the ‘best way forward’ when dealing with children who are ‘addicted’ to iPads and iPhones,” Paton reports. “Mark Montgomery, a teacher from Northern Ireland, said overexposure to technology had been linked to weight gain, aggressive behaviour, tiredness and repetitive strain injury. He called on parents to turn home wi-fi off overnight to stop children staying awake to play online games on iPads.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: iPad is a tool. Success or failure depends on how a tool is used. A hammer can drive nails or pound thumbs.

Children can learn to read and write, do math, draw and paint, create music and movies, and much more with an iPad in hand – we’ve seen it – or they can learn how to play Flappy Bird – about which we’ve just read.

As always, and with just about everything, it comes down to the parents.