Michael Comeau on babies with iPads
I know I'm getting old because I'm starting to really notice just how different things are for kids relative to when I was young.
When I was a child, I played with Transformers, Legos, toy trucks and G.I. Joes - stuff like that.
There were video games too, but I, and all the kids around me, when not playing sports, mostly played things that involved physical interaction with real objects.
So I admit that it kind of freaks me out every time I see a 2- or 3-year-old playing around with an iPad. I can't yet decide whether it's good or bad.
Realistically, iPad use could mean a massive acceleration in the development of reading and math skills, at least for kids whose parents can afford them. In fact, I think handing out iPads to poor kids could help close the education gap with the rich. But that's another topic for another day.
On the negative side, rampant use of gadgets such as iPads and iPhones could disrupt the development of fine motor skills if kids start to drop regular toys that encourage them to use their bodies in new ways. Children could also become a little too comfortable with living life in front of a screen instead of outside in the real world.
Nonetheless, the future is clear: Through software development, advanced touch-screen gadgets such as iPads and iPhones are going to replace many children's toys the same way they're starting to replace grown-up items such as cash registers, road maps, and laptops.
Why? Because the next generation of consumers is getting hooked when they're young.