Technology is exciting for kids and opens the world up in a way they can experience it. I see that every day I teach my students (kindergarten-fifth grade). My problem for those as young as the ones discussed in the article below is two fold.
First, I fear parents give them the iPhone or handheld computers as babysitters, Instead of talking with their kids, parents facilitate a family where everyone’s in their own disconnected world. I don’t even like TV’s in cars. Driving time used to be when parents had their kids as a captive audience, a chance to find out what was really going on with their children. Now, everyone’s listening to ipods or playing video games or watching a movie. When do families get to know each other, develop those critical lifetime bonds?
Second, learning the alphabet at age three is at the expense of learning to play with other kids, figuring out social skills, playing with manipulatives and so much more (read Endangered Minds by Dr. Jane Healy). The brain only absorbs so much at any age (kind of like RAM in a computer) and it’s not fully mature until well into teen years. Many doctors think a three year old isn’t old enough for things like alphabets and numbers. But they are old enough for social skills, learning problem solving, getting comfortable with fine motor and gross motor skills.
Just my opinion, though. The article is fascinating–and for someone like me, scary!