NPR's Jason Beaubien just returned from Sierra Leone, which along with Guinea and Liberia is suffering from the worst ever Ebola outbreak.
The iPad has only been around three years and child development researchers call it a game changer. (See the slideshow of how babies and toddlers are using iPads, above.)
That’s because while parents could pocket their iPhones to hide them from their kids, they can’t do that as easily with the big and bright iPad.
Because they’re so attractive to children, one reviewer of children’s media calls the iPad and other tablet computers baby rattles on steroids.
And a growing number of interactive apps are being developed specifically for two- and three-year-olds.
But while the American Academy of Pediatrics has long discouraged passive media use, the academy hasn’t weighed in yet on interactive applications.
Research is limited, since apps are so new, but the debate is polarized.
Psychologist and author Aric Sigman told The Telegraph, “We risk infantilising the child’s mind by spoon-feeding it with strong audio-visual sensations.”
He argued that computers should be banned from schools until children reach age nine.
Experts told the International Business Times that it might be beneficial for an adult to be present while the child is fixated on the screen.
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Demo of the “Letter School” app:
Demo of the “Noodle Words” app:
Demo of “Toca Boca Hair Salon” app:
Demo of “Toca Boca Tea Party” app: