Why every child in America needs an iPad

“My wife and I sat down at a nice restaurant last week. Our table was right next to a larger party of four adults and two young children — both girls under the age of 7 years old or so,” Mike Elgan reports for Cult of Mac.

“Each of the girls had her own iPad, and each iPad had some high-end noise-cancellation headphones plugged in,” Elgan reports. “One girl was engrossed in a children’s movie, and the other was enjoying a series of apps designed for kids.”

Elgan reports, “Granted, this scene took place in Silicon Valley, where there’s no such thing as an inappropriate social context for consumer technology and, in fact, in the very town where Steve Wozniak lives (Los Gatos). Still, it was a remarkable scene, and one that will be repeated across the nation as the iPad phenomenon spreads.”

“Letting kids use or own iPads is controversial. Parents, teachers and others aren’t so sure about letting kids get sucked into yet another electronic diversion. Pilot programs at a few schools around the country to experiment with iPad-based learning tools are often met with criticism by parents and teachers alike,” Elgan reports. “Everybody’s asking: Are iPads healthy for children?”

Elgan reports, “I’m here to tell you: That’s the wrong question. The right question is this: Is the iPad a healthy *replacement* for TV? And I believe the answer is a resounding yes.”

Read more in the full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dow C.” for the heads up.]

60 Comments

  1. I completely agree with him on this matter. I find myself not watching Tv as much becase I am always engrossed in some new thing that my iPad has to offer which is actually interactive. Somethings I can actually use with other people. My new apple Tv is collecting dust by not being used that much and my ipad is shiny from me wiping all the fingerprints off it every 5 minutes. So yes every kid should get an iPad and an iPod (not an iPhone). The Tv industry will die because everyone will be watching stuff on their iPads. Already the only thing I use my TV for (sports) can be viewed on the watch ESPN app. So I’m looking forward to apple either destroying or reinventing the TV industry.

    1. Yes sir, I agree as well. There is a lot of good educational TV to be had too, but I have noticed there is a bit of trashy reality television creeping in on TLC and such too.
      The iPad has a lot to offer education, but Apple needs to step up to take advantage of its edge in technology.

    1. I completely agree.

      We so rarely see children playing outside anymore, and when I was a kid, we were outside from daylight to dark riding bikes, wading through creeks, playing football, etc.

      Our children and grandchildren today are deprived of a childhood.

      1. Kids do play outside but not everyday is a good weather day …..

        Additionally, my grandkids math is improving as a direct result of the iPad …. The original iPad, I passed my old iPad down and will continue to do so until all grandkids get one ….

        1. “but not everyday is a good weather day”

          Damn… and here i thought when i was growing up the rainier the weather the BETTER football became. Growing up, being inside was the last option.. weather NEVER played any part of my decision. today kids are kinda pampered, no dodge ball?… no Tag at recess?…
          I 100% agree with the two above you, and agreeing with AZ is not something i normally do either….
          Like AZ said, i’d get home from school, jump on the bike and my parents NEVER saw me till dinner time. and sometimes not even for dinner…
          The iPad is great, and great for kids. but NOTHING replaces going outside.

      2. Children in a restaurant should be sitting patiently, watching and learning how adults behave and interact in a social situation, not playing fucking games or watching movies. JFC.

          1. Funny! Unless Roberto is trying to teach children how adults interact when in the presence of children, I don’t believe that to be an effective environment of unbiased adult interaction. Maybe the definition of “social” should be updated? Plus, an iPad is so much more than games and movies! I say that one can use the iPad as a vector for whatever “interaction” Roberto envisions.

    2. …he says as he types a comment on his notebook or ipad.

      Hypocrisy aside, there are at least two reasons why people should lay off of criticizing others use of their iPads. First, its their life, not yours. You get to run your life, they get to run theirs. Get used to it.

      Second, who’s to say that their life is not richer while using the iPad instead of “talking or going outside”. For some people the iPad can free them to do what they need to do so that they can do more of what they want to do. That may include “talking or walking outside”. That may not. Either way, it’s a good thing.

      1. I wasn’t saying people shouldn’t use fancy electronics, I was saying that fancy electronics aren’t the solution to everything. Yes, I do use electronics to help my education, the iPod touch is a great replacement for flash cards, I would rather use an iPad than some 10lb textbook with gum stuck in the pages, and my Macbook air is the perfect companion for working on documents while I’m on a hour long bus ride (you can get allot done in an hour with out internet) but elementary kids don’t do that.
        The person in the article is saying that children NEED these things.
        I can only speak for myself, friends of mine that I talked too, and from what I have observed, but the only thing elementary school is good for is some common knowledge but most importantly it is just learning how to socially interact. Your iPad doesn’t teach you how to make friends or bond with people, those stupid games at recess, and those games in gym class do that.

        I wasn’t criticizing the iPad so how about you lay off the name calling after reading one small sentence, people like you are the reason people at my school assume mac users are all part of some cult bent on world domination, calm your temper.

        Also, I am a firm believer in people being in control of their own lives aswell, but I have a problem when people forget that there is a world outside while they are on a couch inside playing stupid games (especially with the obesity problem). I also have a problem with people just thinking they can throw money and gifts at their kids to make them do better at school. To really excel at education, children need to have a sense of responsibility and consequences. I grew up on a farm and everything I every got was through hardwork and shoveling poop. Instead of just buying your kids stuff, if you make them work for it, then they really appreciate it and then they have motivation to keep working harder.

        1. what concerns me most is tat these children are sitting at a tale in a restaurant totally locked out from any conversation. I think it is important for children to be involved in interaction with adults and children. A restaurant is a great place to do this and also to learn how to be social rather than lock yourself away on a device. I am a teacher and I see daily how children have limited vocabulary and conversation skills due to them not interacting in conversations with adults and others.
          I am a teacher andi see the potential for iPads in education. We are trialling some in my school

          1. In Europe, children aren’t very welcome in most resturants unless they have better behavior than the kids on the sound of music. In Europe, these girls are perfect! Of course, there are different customs in america

        2. “…Also, I am a firm believer in people being in control of their own lives…”

          If the above is true, why are you criticizing what others do?
          Why are you so opinionated?

    3. You know, lately I’m hearing all this talk about kids
      smoking pot, or marijuana– reefer.
      Hey, what’s the deal with that?
      What happened to just getting high on good old clean life?
      Maybe enjoying life looking at a rainbow,
      or sitting underneath a waterfall,
      enjoying a big glass of Scotch,
      or enjoying a pack of cigarettes on a hot summer day.
      What happened to those simple pleasures?
      Did they die with the dinosaurs and the Tyrannus rex?
      In my book, they didn’t.
      And there’s only one book–
      that’s the Bible.
      So, give it a read when you got a chance.
      Hey, last time I checked, Bibles were in libraries.
      Hey, good night.

      1. I agree that the “simple” pleasures are good. There are many books, many good books, many great books, in fact. And some of them even contain verifiable facts and information.

        In your book, the dinosaurs either didn’t exist or they lived and died about 6000 years ago. There is more than “one” book. And there have been many versions of the “one” book.

      2. Shirley, you must be joking!

        There are many, many great books: non- fiction as well as fiction.

        Interactive technology is better than most TV, but there’s no substitute for dreaming, creating, learning how to observe, interact with and form relationships with people. And let’s not forget spelling- apparently a lost art.

      3. Because drinking scotch and smoking a pack of cigarettes is any better for you than pot? I should also point out that these are all illegal for kids anyway, and in the US you can’t drink til you’re 21.
        But I see how it is, things your generation did that are bad for you like smoking and drinking are alright, simple pleasures, while things that are bad for you that younger people do is bad and evil and immoral. kinda like when I was younger and my mother was all “get off the Internet and come watch tv like the rest of us” because she thought the net was worse than tv.

      4. Drug apology + “In my times it wasn’t like that” + arrogant Christian preaching. You are really good at this.

        I’m surprised you are even able to turn a computer on, let alone type this pile of garbage.

    4. Something happened to going outside. I’m 49. I spent my years up into high school playing outdoors with friends. But about the same time as Pong came out, so did cable television and child abductions rose either in real terms or awareness rose because of the all-news networks. So parents started making sure their kids were in more secure environments than city/neighborhood streets. Even Halloween has moved from trick or treating in the neighborhood to a chaperoned activity at the school gym. Times change. So should we. If you sit with kids of any age who are lucky enough to have an iPad you’ll hear conversation that may surprise you. Sure, there’s plenty of game talk. But there’s also talk about *how* to win games that can be pretty sophisticating planning and choice-making. My high schoolers are more likely now to be talking with me about current events as they are the latest silly viral video.

    1. Ridiculous. That would really eat through reserve cash like crazy. How about giving an iPad to every child that swears loyalty to Apple products for the next 20 years. I might go along with that one.

      It’s true that Foxconn could never keep up with that sort of production. Maybe if Apple donated a few iPads for pilot programs to high school and colleges around the country and give appropriate discounts to the number of iPads those institutions purchase.

  2. Like anything your kids get into set some rules and teach them moderation. They’ll be just fine.

    Don’t let the ipad replace good parenting and it shouldn’t be an issue.

  3. I used to worry about the amount of time my son spent in his room playing computer games, and wished he’d get outside and get some fresh air.

    Now I worry about him mountain climbing.

    Be careful what you wish for.

  4. Children have grown up well for thousands of years without iPads of course they don’t NEED one!
    We are what would be labelled as ultra conservative Christians – and don’t even have the tv aerial hooked in because of our moral stance and new life thanks to Jesus –

    If the choice is TV or an ipad, both have their problems but ipad should be easier to set healthy boundaries for.
    If the choice is interact at a table of people or be secluded with an electronic device I say the former – if unsuitable for children why are they there in the first place?

    As a parent of 4 (6,5,3 and 20 months) I do allow my children at times to use my ipad / iPhone. In fact the eldest is about to start learning to type as part of his honeschooling because he has been diligent with written work n reading. But they are only allowed to use certain programs for a set length of time. I do not want any idevice to take the place of me as a parent and my role of interpreting life, training in morals and teaching. We also try to avoid it’s use as an entertainment device. They love using it for being creative, musical, drawing, reading, learning etc so we use it to stimulate thought n interactivity not deaden their minds.

    Nor would we allow them to own one until ready. As with most things children need to learn self control and responsibility etc before having the privilege of making their own decisions.

    The ipad is a valued part of our life and a great tool for our children. It also has the potential to be detrimental for their development. It’s just like most things in life a parent faces, though with much more potential in both directions.

      1. LoL no fear of old fact-less theories! We value truth n wisdom so encourage them to look at other ideas. Not scared let alone having nightmares 🙂

        1. You believe the Bible is the written word of an invisible man in the sky that made the universe 5000 years ago and man from clay and his own image, and Evolution is the “fact-less theory”?

          I think you wouldn’t be able to recognize a fact even if it slapped you in the face.

  5. I agree with what others said about this taking place in a restaurant. That is a place to learn good table manners, how to behave in public and an appreciation of food.

  6. Are iPads healthy for our children? Yes! Served with a side of organic fruits and vegetables and some whole grains, iPads are far healthier than the fat-laden dreck served at most restaurants. For the younger children, good parents will cut them up into bite-sized pieces.

  7. My 7 year old already made a song in garage band and he will be editing video with iMovie once I show him it’s there. He already has created simple interactive animations using Scratch for Mac. Personally, I think this is good in limited doses. Just like anything else, it needs balance.

  8. We should punish any misbehaving kids by “forcing” them to use XOOM or any Droid based tablet For good kids, we should reward them with iPad. 🙂

  9. I come from a country where several parts have no electricity or water. Some schools can’t even afford lunch to those children. Yet my politicians promise to a policy ‘one student one tablet’.

    Is this right? or just propaganda to persuade voters into thinking of their child holding an iPad before exercising his/her right?

    I don’t argue it’s an amazing device. However, maybe it’s too soon to push them into the hands of young kids, maybe it’s not.

    Just feel that is this a really better way to cope with the world’s problems?

    1. welcome to the USA. where politicians think money is the answer to all problems.
      kids fail to read.write? toss money at it.
      kids still not learning to read/write? well… we need more money.
      and now, toss the iPad at them. if they continue to not learn how to read/write… we can blame Apple! and throw more money at the problem.

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