“More than half of the young children in the U.S. now have access to an iPad, iPhone or similar touch-screen device. For parents, their children’s love of these devices raises a lot of questions,” Ben Worthen reports for The Wall Street Journal. “Kids for years have sat too close to the television for too long or played hours of Madden on family room game players. But pediatric neuroscientists and researchers who have studied the effects of screen-time on children suggest the iPad is a different beast.”
“A well-designed iPad app is more engaging because often the place on the screen that a child touches is the same as where the action happens,” Worthen reports. “Many researchers hope this will help children learn. One study using an iPod Touch and sponsored by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop found children 4- to 7-years-old improved on a vocabulary test after using an educational app called “Martha Speaks.” The 13 5-year-olds tested averaged a 27% gain. A study using a different educational app had a similar result, with 3-year-olds exhibiting a 17% gain.”
Worthen reports, “Some parents readily share a tablet with their children, citing the many apps marketed as educational tools. Some do not. Still other families turn to it as a tool of last resort to entertain and appease children on plane and car trips. In the list of parental worries about tablet use: that it will make kids more sedentary and less sociable. There’s also the mystery of just what is happening in a child’s brain while using the device.”
Read more in the full article here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dialtone” for the heads up.]