Despite recent articles warning parents about letting kids play with that iPhone or iPad, I’m a fan of kids learning technology. No, I don’t think that playing Angry Birds is going make Brady a genius, but I don’t think it’s going to make him a dolt either. I do have to say that the Sesame Street website games have got him recognizing almost all of his letters. Besides, aren’t these skills that this generation is going to NEED? There is a computer on every desk, even at school, and a phone in every hand. While I understand all too well the trap of children relying on these things for constant entertainment, I do think there’s another side. After all, these are things that these kids have to be familiar with to be a part of the world.
Plus, everyone learns differently. Some learn best from real life examples, others from reading in books, others from visuals. Brady is continually distracted when I try to go through letters with him, even if we’re playing a game. In books he is much more concerned with the story or the pictures than with the alphabet. If we’re drawing, he wants cars or people. But if Cookie Monster is asking him what letter is what on the computer, he is on it! He played the game 3 times and got most of the letters he didn’t already know. And now he can use the mouse himself. One of the games is basically to get kids to use the mouse. He did it over and over until he had perfect control and now he does what he wants (within the Sesame Street site, of course). With the games, Brady has no distractions. He concentrates on what the game guides him to, which is perfect for him.
I’m sure this is not a popular opinion. People LOVE to say that technology is evil and that it’s rotting kids’ brains. They said that when I was a kid and we had a TV with a dial that you had to actually get out of your chair to change and no computer at all. Yet, the average IQ continues to climb higher, so we’re still getting more intelligent as a people despite the addition of more and more and more electronic devices devised for our forward progress or pleasure. This is not a house where the television is on all day and we fight against Brady being on the computer or iPod too much. We spend the majority of our time doing non-electronic activities. But I really feel like cartoons and computer games have their place as well. Everything in moderation. Just as adults sometimes need to put down the Blackberry and accept that they cannot check sports scores, work emails, and gossip blogs incessantly, kids need to know that there is a time to play with the iPhone (when out for a nice dinner with family and waiting for a table) and a time that it is not ok (when at home for a nice dinner with family).