Today’s endless array of advanced computer electronics is truly unprecedented, and offers an especially unique experience for modern children. This is perhaps the first era during which children can grow up from birth around technology such as the smart phone and advanced PDA devices. These devices can do wonders for the imagination and are excellent learning tools, but they are also very expensive and come along with their own sets of security and privacy issues. Does your child need an iPad, or can putting devices such as this in the hand of children cause more harm than good?
First, there is no doubt that the iPad can act as one of the best modern learning devices on the planet. With the constant development of new iPad “apps” and big name developers now jumping on board, it is fairly certain that the iPad will continue to host to an excellent array of learning tools for your child. Applications range from those which teach children to read and count to those offering educational simulations, such as the basics of cooking or growing a garden. Before touch technology, applications such as these were practically non-existent; especially for use by children.
The iPad works in more ways than one as an excellent learning device. Children love cool technology, and the iPad is arguably some of the coolest technology on the market currently. By marketing the ipad to children as a “cool” way to read (such as with ebooks) and do their homework, they may jump at the chance, as using the iPad for just about anything is viewed as fun by children.
While it is true that these are great reasons for introducing your children to the iPad, there are many reasons for which you may want to hold off. Perhaps most obvious is the fact that the iPad is not a cheap piece of hardware, and it also does not happen to be very resistant to breakage, especially in the hands of a child. Weighing in at just one pound, simply dropping the iPad off of a low surface is enough to damage it, sometimes even permanently. Children may view the iPad as a toy and not realize its fragility or how expensive it was to purchase. If you have reason to believe that your child may act carelessly with an iPad, it is best to keep it to yourself or at least invest in a high-quality case for protection!
Many parents are also concerned with the websites that children visit when they use the internet, which is another potential issue with allowing children access to an iPad. The iPad is capable of surfing the web just like any home computer or laptop, bringing with it the same threats that one might come upon while on a computer such as pornography, graphic violence and chat rooms. While it is possible to block children from using the Internet this way on the iPad, it is still less than ideal to give your child unlimited access to the web. Even good children can find themselves in bad neighborhoods online.
In the end, it really comes down to you and your children. If you feel as if they are careful, responsible “young adults” that are ready to experience touch technology and learn from it, then by all means take the chance of letting them use the iPad. If you are on the other side of the fence, it’s best to hold off.